Ode to Your Penis

Only yours, Love,
could I pick out
of a line-up,
like in Porky’s,
a movie I would pause
at the scene of the boys
running naked
through the woods—
my first time seeing
penis in a film.
But your two-freckled shaft
would be easy
to spot among
the other tallywhackers
and ding-dongs.
I could recognize it anywhere:
compared with other foreskins,
yours would look dainty,
welcoming, not at all
like a Shar-Pei or turtle
wallowing in its shell.
Blindfolded even,
I could tell your penis
by its weight,
resting in my hand
or by its girth between my thighs.
I could tell it was you
even when cornflower soft,
by the gentle curve to the left.
Tie my hands behind my back, too,
I still would know you
by smell—
clean, like a swimming-supply store,
but also musky,
the woods on the first dry
day of the rainy season.
Even by sound—
the gentle slapping,
like water against a boat,
as you run, still wet and cold,
from the shower to bed.

When exhausted,
but still pumping blood,
I’d recognize the pink
of your corona.
By its turgid color,
I could pick yours out, habibi,
the same purple as when
I was a kid, wrapping rubber-bands
around my thumb until it hurt.


Emily Jalloul is a Lebanese-American MFA candidate in poetry at Florida International University. Her previous work has been published or is forthcoming in Juked, Origins, and The FEM, as well as others. In 2015 and 2016, she was nominated for Push Cart Prizes by Yellow Chair Review and Gravel, respectively. She lives in Miami, Florida, where she mostly spends time petting her cat or watering her plants.