You Make Me Ashamed Of My Nakedness

Alice Angelini
Alice Angelini

You breathed air into my body.
Like God formed Adam of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, a man became a living being.
Air filled my lungs and the asphyxiation of the past faded and I became a living being.
Our Eden consisted of vodka filled rooms and cheesy rap songs to get us in the mood.
Here we did not fear the nakedness of our own flesh, and looked upon the earth as though Eve had not been tempted by the serpent.
No crisp apple taste perpetrated upon my tongue.
Only the fermentation of grapes as they danced across my lips, tickling intoxicatingly down my throat.

Your lips. Your eyes. Your voice.
Your fingers as they examined my body.
Tracing circles on my skin, imprinting on my mind the image of your body pressed against mine.
Protecting me. Wanting me.
Feeding the starvation of an unwanted child.
Craving. Needing.
A walking UNICEF ad.
Sir, your gift could save the life of a child in need.
Just like your attention could save my dying soul.
Only, I was not the only one.

When I was younger I was afraid of ghosts.
An abandoned house before you, I was haunted by her.
The woman for whom you wrote sonnets in your sleep.
Whose shoes I could not fill.
As time passed, the grapes turned sour in the back of my throat.
What once breathed life into my soul harvested my insides to fill his ego.
Endless. Mindless. Empty.
A mannequin on display.
Tell me, when you closed your eyes, were you praying to her or to me?

When cast out of Eden, Adam and Eve had two sons.
Cain and Abel grew in jealousy until one took his brother’s life with a poisonous gesture.
These thoughts were toxins filling my lungs until I was suffocating.
Suffocating in you. In her. In self-hatred as to why.
Why couldn’t I be her?
I stood before you with this knowledge.
Ashamed of my nakedness. TC mark

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