“No Body Wants to Come Into My Bed,” “Nobody Comes” & “No Body” by Charlotte Abotsi

Black and white illustration of two figures in a bed covered with plaid blanket

No Body Wants to Come Into My Bed

perhaps it is for the best, it’s rather small 
in its box spring: no sexy to its squeak                               
just a croak missing a moan. 

my nails are long & useless, clean 
with no skin to sink into
so I spend nights wishing for a shared sweat: 

body brine, mutual salt           a tongue hiss  
the dance of the pulse             mashed mouths
to fuck                                                    to flail
the come                                              down
a body                                                     to praise

I don’t need much:
just a generous mouth,
patient hands.

Nobody Comes

                                 not even me!

I dry rub my lips & still					I’m alone

my cunt, unconvinced!
                       my lust, a liar!

              fingers, useless again

                                                                all I have is shame,
                                                                the sigh it brings

Let me be clear: 
my want of an Other in the room
is not about sex,
                       just all of this 		empty

                       at this point,

I’ll take anything that will come:
                          my own private paralysis, 
                          a sauntering sleep demon
                          you know, I could use the weight 
                          of an apparition pressing into me,
                          attending to my bed	at least 
                          it is touch
                          at least that’ll make someone
                          to share the thick of the night
                          heat’s panting tongue, 
                          the want of the air.

I’m not saying I want to fuck a ghost		

                               grief is a hunter who never tires
so excuse me 
I cannot help but want the fogged breath 

in window	       a conjugal visit
from a mist who won’t stop.

How nice it must be:		to have 		a guest?

to be chose,	
to still 

No Body

I lost someone last year
and even he won’t haunt me.

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Charlotte Abotsi is a writer, educator, and filmmaker from Providence, Rhode Island. As a spoken word poet, she has competed in several international slams, placing in the top 20 poets at the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam, and winning the 2017 Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam competition; her work has been written about in HuffPost and Mic. As a filmmaker, Abotsi has focused on documentary film, debuting her short documentary at the 2018 Ocean State Film Festival. She has received fellowships from the Pink Door Writing Retreat, the Incubator for Community-Engaged Poets, Tin House, DreamYard’s Rad(ical) Poetry Consortium, AIR Serenbe, and Define American. She currently curates Ours Poetica, a poetry-based web series.

Tiffany Mallery is an illustrator currently based out of Boston. She’s done work for editorial clients including NPR, Thrillist, &  Zora to name a few, and has dipped her toes in the realm of comics and self-publishing, printing zines and comics about crushes, tennis, being lost in space, and whatever else her little heart desires. When not making art, she can be found reading manga, thinking about the infinite and fearsome wonder of space, and/or working at her day job. Her work and contact info can be found at www.tiffanyillustrating.com or @notiffanyno on Instagram.

This month’s special issue, “EVERY GHOST STORY IS A LOVE STORY,” was guest edited by Melissa Lozada-Oliva. Melissa is the author of peluda (Button Poetry 2017) and Dreaming of You (Astra House, October 2021). Her work has been featured in the Yale Review, Harper’s Bazaar, Vulture, and BBC Mundo. She cohosts a podcast called Say More with Olivia Gatwood. She holds an MFA from NYU and lives in New York City. @ellomelissa.