Photo by Pat Tompkins

by Tessa A. Adams

There was a time of
intoxication so pure, it would
ignite near a flame. It was
before the valleys and
hills of our skin bore
the price tags of our mothers.
Before our extremities were
Before our
bodies bled into the rivers
that threatened us with
Egos altered like ours had no place
in the white fences of our
But we were quite something
weren’t we?
In our broken heels
and our glossy hopes
shining through a thick
film of exhibition.
We tugged at the skirts of
Our smeared lipstick
and uneven black lines begged
the most glorious destruction.
As pulsing forms we came
together. Magnetic and
hypnotic, the lights brought
us back, each illumination
promised electric freedom.
Didn’t we bridle lightning?
Didn’t we hold it in our hands and –
like sparklers – write in the sky?
I recall watching us
like a spirit. Our eyes were
upturned and unblinking.
Reflecting neither fear or apology.
I remember us.


About the photographer: Pat Tompkins is an editor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her essays and poems have appeared in The Bark, Thema, Modern Haiku, and other publications.