To My Last Man

I lie in bed

paralyzed in warmth,

my calves aching from that ninety minute

walk through Louisville.

I lie, in fetal position, wondering about your voice recordings, the ones you send to me every night.

 

Men don’t seem interesting anymore.

 

Instead, I dream idly of sex with no one in mind. The act itself, an impulse that I no longer abuse. Instead, I think of your large dark eyes asking me, “What? What are you thinking about?” There is nothing striking but your eyes, and the way your whole face wrinkles when you laugh.

 

I know a part of me loves you.

 

I know a part of me feels nothing when you kiss my neck, just the rain from the clouds over us.

 

If my cold hand could wrap around your wrist, push your fingers into me, maybe I could feel something. The same thing I felt when you said, “I don’t want to wash the taste of you out of my mouth.” That thrill that made me jerk and burn.

 

We said we would be just friends

After we danced under the willow tree, our

Arms flapping, our

Cheeks laughing.

 

But never have I said words of love as I thrust into them.

 

Never has my lover been so afraid of God that he lost his desire in me.

 

To be away from you

To be with you but not in you

Is a half-life. To not feel your lips pressing on me, your angular hips against my soft flesh, is blasphemy.  

 

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To my non-lover

I would adore it if you nuzzled into my cheeks,

I would gladly catch fish in the crick with you,

And I would not mind if you made me a soufflé

Or even just eggs.

 

But instead, your spooning is half hearted. The only thing I’ve caught is a cold,

And yes, you spent time making me coffee, but who doesn’t do that for all their one-night-stands?

 

Before I left your house, I turned on the faucet but you were out of water. A shame. I really needed a drink.

 

And There You Were

I went out with a new man the other day.

He had perfect teeth and luminous hair.

He had a cute earring and he was very charming,

But he wasn’t you.

I went out with another man, to forget my disappointment. And this one was strange, and he was kind.

He bought me dinner and held my hand, but it didn’t matter.

He wasn’t you.

Today I went out with someone else, someone I thought could be like you.

He was dark and handsome, went to school, and played the drums like you do.

But then I opened my heart to take him in, and there you were.

Taking up too much space, reminding me of your literal absence.

Tomorrow, I might move on

To someone new, who isn’t you, someone who might stay. But I think I’ll open the dark chest

Under my bed and pull out our love letters,

Reverently smooth over creases, read how deeply we cared,

Start to write your address on an envelope–

Then stop. And go to bed.

To Friend

I will always be second best, won’t I?
If Jesus played favorites with Peter, then I am the tax collector (no one loves a tax collector). If Pete Davidson loves Ariana Grande, then I am the weed and alcohol left behind—his first love he cast away. I am Melania, because Donald Trump only loves himself.
I wait in my little hole in the ground
To see what you will feed me,
If I will get meat and potatoes today
Or the same shaved chicken breast that’s
Sat in the fridge day after day.
And I wait, mouth agape, hoping you

Will feed me
Touch me
Kiss me
Or refrain from choking me
Because I’m already down.

Slopes

It seems like a year since I fell in love with a girl
And broke up with her
All in one day.
It seems a year since I opened myself up to new opportunities,
Possibilities
With a person of the same gender.
But that’s all gone now.

It dawned on me that I would have to be
Touched, that I would have to be open to feeling her pulsating beneath me. That I would have to love the clitoris, the breasts…especially the sloping sides of her.
I could love the slopes, the curves, the cheekbones and the eyes.
I could love lips and hair. But could I love beyond the slopes, down there?

Monsters

Hate me. Banish me. But never say that you don’t know me.

I am the person from birth that you never unveiled.

 

Do not say that I have never loved you.

I have loved none but you,

 

or tried to love none but you. It was not me

who betrayed you. It was the child inside

 

who must go away not to hurt you.             The hurt is seeping from fingertips,

breaking up small food in stomach.

 

Believe me, I’ve not become me yet. I’m trying

to, but

 

you are here with my replacement, another girl like me.

What does it matter that no one can see my monsters but me.

 

There is nothing about them that speaks.

Nothing says joy, but it is pulsing chinks.

 

Put yourself in a blue box. Say nothing. Say nothing to your monsters.

Ship yourself away. There is nothing outside the blue box.

To love

He tried hard to forget. To love is to destroy. But he could not but think he’d rather fade into the earth than give up his love, it was so fresh in the ground. It niched itself in the dirt, the pressing of moss and mold inside the root cellar, where his love grew further, twisting into bricks, into an obsequious display that poisoned him to the touch. Everyone knows what it is to hold something closely and have it bite you.

The Puppies

Two puppies lay at my feet.

One brindle and striped like a tiger

The female is a lovely gray. It is she

that is striking. Her face so small, her legs like flappers.

she would be a beautiful dancer, but

how frightened of every little sound!

I took her out to the front yard and she heard wind chimes

and skirted back to the door—I took them out together once

‘til two pit bulls barked

and Luna dived under a parked

car

The first time

I coaxed her out with a treat. “Come here, baby.”

The second time, “Get the fuck out of that car!”

 

anonymous 231 said a man grabbed her privates on a subway

(why do we use that word… ‘privates’…they are not private)

i was grabbed

he grabbed me

a schoolmate grabbed me in a classroom. In class.

30 people stood, all in groups, chatting

uncomfortably. I can’t remember what I did. Why this boy laughed and reached out and          touched—

cupped

           no—

     eah!

 

I yelped.

Potty training is better. I must softly pet them every time they go outside

or they’ll forget themselves and pee inside.

They’ve done it often. Tejunio will worry his eyes at me and meander

to the door sometimes. I tried to rub his nose in it, and

 he bucked like a wild horse. Like I’d beaten him.

Women envision strange things:

A woman fantasizes she’s in love and gets married and

has a thousand babies while juggling a career.

A woman fantasizes she is on a cruise ship and

there is a murder and only she can solve it.

Occasionally a woman fantasizes she’s at home. Cooking. Or on the street, or

at a frat house. And a man approaches her. A nondescript white man, age 22-30.

A lewd request. A reaching out to touch.

She whips out her gun and shoots him dead like Butch Cassidy or John Wayne.

And the blood and the police come and she says breathlessly

I’d rather go to prison than be Raped! And the jury acquits

the brave young heroine

But the boy’s last name was Cho. He wasn’t older. I couldn’t find my gun.

Puppies

are doing well. They

follow me, they

drink when I drink, watch

me use the bathroom,

eat each others’ meals,

chew up all my furniture

and sprawl on my bed. Luna loves

belly rubs. She spreads her legs and shows the world–

I call it her ‘teepee’

because it looks like a little Indian hut.

I fight this strange urge to touch it—

but my hand disgusts.

I can’t remember how they neuter females.