by Dani Putney

You know, I could kill you.
Nobody would care.

You tell me this as your hips press
my body into the bar wall.

I’m electrified & I know you feel it.
I nod & mutter yes, but you correct me

like I’m a child learning their manners.
Yes what? I recall the night’s contract,

signed with our lips an hour prior
inside Café Lafitte. Yes, sir, I whisper

into your ear. Give me a role
& I’ll amaze you. Your eyes crinkle,

crows escaping into the half-light
of our spectacle. Good boy,

but I already knew this. My father spent
his final years teaching me goodness:

Don’t challenge a man more than twice
your age. Savor each of his words

like a warm glass of milk. Obey.
(No, my mother taught me that.)

I reward you with teeth
grazing your cheek & neck. You groan

like a little bird dying. I like to think
I’m killing you—slow, tender.

Destruction isn’t unilateral,
I want to intellectualize, but you stick

your finger into my mouth & I suck
as instructed. Swallowing your grime,

I look into your black eyes & realize
I’ve won. An angel, you called me

when we first met. Lucky for me
you’ll never learn which one.


Photography by: Ethan Hoover