Leah Bailly


Blackjack. Between Boss' incisors. Red dice melted into the first baseman's greasy mitt. Blues Explosion. The Russian they bribe into the locker room, black roots and a mole sprouting fine blonde hairs an inch below her ear. Motorhead. Dirty Money.  Teamed with a torsolette, the scratch of elastic against tongue. Bound by fencing masks, cocooned under gauze, the roommate's polaroids tacked to the walls of the loft, who lent you those little metal balls for stimulating g-spots, who built a swing in the foyer. King with an Axe: Jon Spencer, Jack White. Why the fuck not, with a bright red bow above the ass, pretty as a jukebox full of quarters. Navel orange. So filthy you want to roll it between your lips. Second-base, fencing bout, posing for polaroids in a babydoll and tights. D'Andrea Pickups. The Russian mole. Long live the Suicide Kings.



Tiled guest room in Essaouira, little blue door, window in the whitewash enough for a wrist to fit through.  Remember: the man who handed us the sheets hit us up for his daughter's school. Remember: We followed the tout for block after block, until we reached the shore and then thanked her and I asked her how much for just walking us that far. The boys on the streets jumping onto each other's backs, the town joke that weekend, little plastic whistles strung up between the sandwich shops. Such thick walls. La Forteresse lined with cannons. Our patio nothing but wicker chairs and ashtrays, little empty cups from our tea, dried out at the bottoms. The sound of waves, whistles. The attendant knocking night after night, you at the door trying to dismiss him, a bit of hash burning between your finger and thumb, my bare nipples, red between the rough cotton of his sheets. 




Pretend we are peach. Raspberry. It needs to be like air through straw. His blond mustache and merino twin-breasted blazer. Camel filters, hot scotch candies in a box pressed against ribs. Something about that morning stepping onto the subway: the door-air that whooshed me inside, that stranger's hand skirting around my middle. Pretend we are plum. Panama City, with its bombed out buildings, clotheslines between the empty shell windows. The Merino Whoosh. The razor slitting down the center, then scales on the bottoms of our shoes. Air through straw. Thin fish blood. Flash-fried and served on the wharf on strips of Chinese newspaper. A blond mustache tucked behind a row of bottom teeth. That hand cinched around my waist— Pretend we are the Chinese Newspaper. The Hot Scotch Candies. Pretend we are Bone.







These poems are the starting seed for a novel titled "Six City" about a lingerie-shop owner turned runaway, whose sexcapades take her from Barcelona to Freetown. Stay tuned.