They say a love like ours is a tragedy in the making, a bud refusing to blossom, the sound of a wave before it hits shore. You’re not a savior but more of a wound that won’t stop festering, a chasm across which I tie bridges of weeds; tansy, peony, sage and yarrow. I place my tongue on the sharp lining of your hip bone and the clawed shadows in your eyes flutter awake. You’ve never been touched by a man, nor have I ever laid my hands on borrowed skin, but boundaries crack as we move in perfect sync, as if rocked by the arms of the sea. I catch your moans as they leave your lips, clenching them in my hand to taste them later. Bury my face in your hair and think of all the people who bowed to you, how carelessly you took the lives of those who opposed our love.
(I could take yours right now.) The thought occurs to me while I softly stroke you to the rhythm of hitched breathing, words spilling like wine down your chin, making promises of white-hot lashes of pleasure, of ripe fields and soft rains and worlds to conquer. Your eyes lock with mine and the tide shifts in me.
“You are a monster.” “All gods are monsters.”
Writhing beneath me and covered in cold sweat, you are more divine than ever as you loosen up, shivering as you allow me to pleasure you in your most sensitive spot. And I weep because you’re beautiful, beautiful and vulnerable and fleshly. I couldn’t hurt you to save the world, such a poor martyr I am – faithless and selfish, the only thing I’d die for is you. I whisper my testimony repeatedly as the waves hit, IloveyouIloveyouIloveyou. You come around my finger with genocide in your eyes and heresy on your lips, outcast boy claiming to be something you will never understand. The heavens will surely cry for you, but the tears shed in the dark after we’ve fallen silent are my own.
Schoolbooks scattered over crimson floors,
lessons repeated too often
overthrown chairs and delayed morality speeches
red hallways patterned with the steps
of 140 pairs of 7-inch-shoe soles
desperately running for the exit
Why hello! Didn’t see you there!
Was I in your way?
Hello, it’s me, the girl whose ass you slapped in the checkout queue.
Hello, I’m the one you held down on the pub floor while taking pictures of my cleavage with your iPad.
Yes, it’s me, walking bag of estrogen and fat
soft eyeballs fumbling, testing, determining my worth
heavy with gazes (Have you seen her? You just can’t help but wonder what her cup size is, can you?)
stuffed like a turkey with scalpels and lies and everything nice.
powdered cheeks and blood red lipstick
and volumized lengths that couldn’t possibly hide a brain
reckless mannequin girl
loafing around, being an easy target
all young and shallow and ripe
with self-deprecation oh do you want me sir please tell me that you want me
I couldn’t bear to inflict this primal hunger
on the people I pass by,
so why don’t you just go ahead
and gobble me up?
When I was thirteen, I discovered that I suffered thorns.
Not the kinds that grow on rose stalks, but soft, fleshy lumps sprouting from my hands. It started as an itch in the palm. Then they reared their ugly, pointy-shaped heads, like a plantation of crocus buds in spring. They grew more prominent with each passing day, bending flesh and bone where they bloom. I tried to shave them off, but they burst painfully, leaving behind infected abscesses and emitting an acidic smell. Each time I cut them off they seemed to grow back bolder and firmer, cracking razor blades, splitting skin. I tried keeping them trimmed for so long, covered my hands with bandages to conceal the suppuration and sprayed perfume into the wounds to mask the stench. The lumps didn’t give up the fight. Slowly, they chiseled out a distance between myself and the rest of the world. I couldn’t reach for other people. I tried touching myself, sating the starvation in me, but the nibs cut up my thighs and perforated my inner walls. I laughed and bled out my satisfaction, came over and over to the thought of inflicting this pain on other people, showing them the nature of my hell. I stopped shaving the nibs off and instead let them grow long and spiky, watching the world retract as I engorged. I sharpened the outgrowths like knives until they were strong enough to penetrate the mold which kept me imprisoned. I would not be pretty, I would be rage and ravish and rain on a November day. Smile, you deranged Dorothy, for the world has grown cold and loosened its grip on our fragile hearts.
You are a rare child, my doctor says
and pinches the sensitive skin above my vulva
a walking swarm,
a lukewarm disaster,
a pair of
bloated cherry-coated lips
and tongue swollen from digesting prey
I grab a stud gun and nail him to the wall,
like a flying squirrel caught in a jump
Next day, he buries me carefully in his garden
I eat dirt and laugh,
making a home of my grave
I know, I know – you could never have foreseen
that even dormant and pretend-dead
I’d be twice your potency
But as sure as I’ll never forget
the wrong you’ve done me,
what’s more important is
you’ll never forget me,
and will never find me in another place.
This, I promise.
Biologists tell me to beware lest my body will swallow me whole. I’d believe them but I quake with indifference, my heart is not what it used to be. It does no longer bleed for smothered wildfires, passions extinguished by chilly water hydrant eyes, dead barn swallows or coffee-stained love notes. It is keen, feisty, and impervious to slander made by the likes of you. I discarded my golden cross and used the chain to strangle my doubt. I am not a forgiver.
So have your laugh. Cast your accusations. I have not grown cold in my trials, I do feel them pricking my skin. I just know my weaknesses too well to let this fight be my last. I own these losses, I tied them around my fists like boxing tape, and last night, I threw a punch.