From the AnthologyBreaking the Silence
by Nic Campeotto
the air from outside smells of thai basil and ozone. my body won’t quiet enough for sleep. coiled under your collarbones, between your breasts, i think, once, my body knew how to be like yours. once, i was taught never to let my tongue leave my mouth or my ankles uncross. once, i thought it easy to be a girl. now every bit of me is water and earth and moveable. i wonder what it would be to become like you again, if i could.
you wake at the first crackle of thunder, way out over the water. i tasted it—hours ago—felt the pressure rise in my head. i curl around your neck as you shift against the rising noise. through your skin, your breath sounds like the lake. i taste salt on your jaw, in the air. i put my face into your hair. i think, do you ever wonder what it would be to have a body like mine?
Nic Campeotto is a (gender)queer Southerner and aspiring shapeshifter currently living with their wife in Cleveland, Ohio. Their poetry and flash fiction have appeared in the journals Fiction Southeast and Cactus Heart, among others, and the anthologies Manticore from Sundress Publications and Furies from UK publisher For Books’ Sake. In 2018, their poetry was incorporated into the performance art piece “Haumapuhia Rising” by artist Lynn Lu. They can be found on social media (occasionally) under their name or @paperquake.