4.4 Editor's Pick
August 19, 2019

Burning in Love. {Poem}

The steam from underground reminds me of sex.

I rise like the early morning temperature.

Stretch out my spine like a feline, a jaguar in the canopies.

I reach out toward that muted light, soaked magenta blush by the curtains.

I am flushed, and bedhead like too much wine after 9 p.m. on a Tuesday.

My pillows and sheets leave the warm imprint of the girl I was in my dreams.

It takes a minute to come back down to earth.

The grass and the trees are enveloped by a haze of humidity.

The birds don’t sing as sweetly, they are tired on the electric lines—they are haggard by the flight.

I feel the weight of the longest month on my chest like a lover in midafternoon; how we touch and sweat and try to forget that snow-leaden branches will hang just as heavily as this heat.

I drive with my arm out the window.

The sun turning the hair blonde, the sun burning the skin.

The way salted caramel hits sunburned lips.

The salt from the waves caught between my teeth, like your tongue between…

Me and the peach are soft in spots, we bruise just the same, but goddamn we hang ripe for the taking, ready for the baking, the leavening.

I am ready for the way this last bite of summer will corrupt me.

Leave me darker and a little more unrestrained.

How the scalding days make us all a little savage, a beast pulling at his leash.


I’m going to snap that leash in half.

Run through the torrents of rain.

Then stand there as the world rumbles around me.

Deliciously, it drips rivulets down my arms, like the pads of your fingers.

Alarming the nerves.

They sing more syrupy than those birds.

Our bodies together hum wildly, vibrate madly.

Pulsate like a heart—the rhythm riotous in the blood.

I beseech myself, “Love this overheating of cheeks, the flames across breast how it fans out like wings from shoulder blades. Heaven’s rebel angel burning, burning like this earth.”

Burning, burning in love.


author: Alise Versella

Image: Engin_Akyurt/Pixabay

Editor: Kelsey Michal

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Jennifer Evangelista Aug 20, 2019 6:22am

Beautifully sexy and raw. I love this. Thank you

William Manas Aug 20, 2019 6:19am

I’m totally feeling this!

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Alise Versella

Alise Versella is a pushcart-nominated contributing writer for Rebelle Society who has been featured on Entropy, Enclave, What Rough Beast and Elephant Journal to name a few. She has worked with author Francesca Lia Block and Women’s Spiritual Poetry whose latest anthology, Goddess: When She Rules raised money for The Malala Foundation. Kirkus has called her “…[A] boundlessly energetic and promising technician [who] crafts a unique blend of the symbolist and the confessional; a talented, promising newcomer.” She performs at local coffee houses in Southern New Jersey and has taught workshops at local libraries and schools on the importance of poetry as power and finding one’s voice through verse.