June 22, 2022 by The Citron Review
by Christopher Ankney
The unwatched hot iron, I don’t trust it
not to lay on the blouse, ignore
how it burns its entire being on top,
Grandma once said loving another
can be a sin, didn’t even blink an eye
as she talked about her nightgowns
sewn shut across the bottom,
the unlocked suitcase tossed out
a bouquet of closed flowers
on her chaste honeymoon.
Where was desire in those sheets?
My best friend wanted to kiss me
but I was not sorry for either of us
when I told him no. It was not rejection
of another, but an acceptance of my own
being. It shouldn’t be a sin to want
to use our senses on the world.
It shouldn’t be a sin to turn them off.
The dress we want against our skin
deserves its quiet permission
to be left unaltered.
Christopher Ankney’s debut, Hearsay, won the 2014 Jean Feldman Prize at WWPH and was a finalist for the 2015 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. His poems have appeared in many journals, including Boston Review, Gulf Coast, Prairie Schooner, Fledgling Rag, The Dodge, and the anthology, This is What America Looks Like. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife and two sons. He is an avid half-marathoner and traveler. He is a Professor of English at College of Southern Maryland. Read more at christopherankney.com