Poems by Shannon Phillips

Dirty Talk

I don’t know why
the glaze that comes over your eyes
makes me feel powerful,
but it does.

It’s really just
your pupil growing
blacker.

Cocks are supposed to be
dumb, in their urge
toward wet heat,

but not faces.

Faces are supposed to be
articulate, reflecting
what goes on
behind your eyes.

But it’s your cock
that shows me what’s
really going on,

taking over
the role of your face.

Your eyes show me:

turning myself on,
turning your cock on,
and turning off

your face.

The Whole World

I can’t write about war,
but I can write about your teeth
near my throat.

I can’t write about religion,
but I can write about your voice,
across the table at dinner.

I can’t write about discrimination,
but I can write about your skin,
pressed against mine.

I can’t write about economics,
but I can write about your hands,
gripping my hips.

I can’t write about technology,
but I can write about your spine,
and my kneading on either side.

I can’t write about famine or drought,
but I can write about the sweat
that collects at the small of your back.

I can’t write about natural disasters,
but I can write about your mouth,
taking me under.

Shannon Phillips earned a master’s in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach. She has two chapbooks: My Favorite Mistake with Arroyo Seco Press and Body Parts, which is forthcoming from dancing girl press.