I should warn you,

you’re playing coy with a girl
who cries at mercy.
Who hates this new found “want”
for her body,
a body she does not love right now.

I should warn you,
that there were hands that held
her like a wave
cupped between their palms.
They marveled at the vastness of
her possibility;
they pulled her tide,
gently,
at first, then
roughly.

I should warn you,
this girl became choppy,
there was no steadiness in her sea.
There was only a howling,
a crashing,
a current grasping for
the beach.

I should warn you,
this girl dried up,
still slick and salty.
I should warn you,
This girl cringes at the thought
of hands in her body.
This girl sees fingers
and all she can think
is “bloody”.

This girl calls out each night,
even when you don’t reply,
and gives herself over
to the loving arms
of the Almighty.

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Rolling Pains

I’m running my fingers over my stomach:
a hill filled country,
a necessary plane.
And I notice the birth marks,
the little freckles given to me from both time
and sheer existence.
I think of how the sun will turn the peach fuzz
that forms a line to my sternum, golden,
I think of how it will disappear with the tan.
I think of how the sun will be the only thing
to kiss my stomach for the rest of this summer.
And yes,
that makes me sad.

Love her with no bounds.

love like this woman here
is vessel,
cave of wonders.
To be inside her is
to let yourself
quake,
to buckle,
to watch her shiver as you call out
her name
and hear it bounce back
like an echo.
To touch her with love means
to steady,
to push back all pretenses
and watch her undulate,
like a wave against your body.
To go down on her
is to remind her,
she is a treasure,
you, a worshipper.
Every time she shakes,
you feel like glory
is that much closer.

Love her,
like she was made for you
to show your love to.
Love her
like she is the most precious thing
you will ever make love to.
Love her,
because she wants to know that her body
is worthy of being treated right,
worthy of being taken care of,
worthy enough
for someone.
Only love her if that person
is you.

I brought us back together,

like dots needing to be
reconnected.
And I sat and watched the conversations ripple
across the table like
to each set of lips a piece of yarn
was attached and I was caught
playing telephone,
alone.
It’s like,
I come to reconvene
and by that I mean watch.
I arrive at a table and wait
for his eyes to meet mine
or someone’s arms to enclose around my shoulders
from behind and I
look at these people I have gathered
together again
and I wonder why
I call them my friends when every time I leave the diner
I know I could go a few months or years without seeing them.
Maybe, maybe we’d feel closer then.

Admitting It

It is June:
a time for brides,
and I
have bought three new outfits
in white
like I am trying to convince myself
I’m still —
I am trying
to forget the way
that a body can be used
for other’s pleasure;
that love should be
an equal measure of
give and
take, I should not
have let myself
waste
away like that.
Like not eating meals when I’m supposed to
like getting sick
and missing shifts
and that thinking that
“I’m the one who deserves better”
than This?
Tell me
when you find it.
Because every time I remember
the way you yelled, I’m not
blinded by tears. I don’t
cry over someone whose
last words to me
were meant to reach an end game
I could never win.

This love has left me feeling
alone and
like dirt that can’t be scrubbed
away. I never want
to be touched again.
I buy white dresses and try to convince
my body its not a sin;
I try to be happy for June brides.
I try not to be jealous
of their certainty
when they commit.

Wavering

Here’s something I don’t need to say:
you move me.
There’s something genuine in your sincerity.
We can wrap ourselves around each other
like ouroboros and come back biting,
shining teeth
that are taking their time savoring,
re-discovering.

In every moment, past and present,
you have consistently held me steady.
I have tried to be an anchor for your misery
and each time we come back to each other again
and again
and again,
and I wonder if you can tell,
I’m learning to love you
a little less quietly.