No, really, you don’t have to do that.
Think of this first refusal as courteousness.
I am opening a door.
This exchange is not about our genders or being polite,
but I will ask you to be a gentle man.
So yes, you really do have to do this, because I’m a fucking lady
and I deserve it.
Grab – touch – yep okay, now rub –
Multi-tasking is not just for Internet browsing.
Touch and learn, I am Wikipedia.
Feel free to fill in any missing information.
No such thing as too much research.
You’re so hot.
I am no longer woman.
I am girl, shaking my head while telling the horror film protagonist
to turn back now.
You can see and feel and taste how dark it is, but have made no attempts
to turn back now.
Look at me.
That way, you are not a body.
Look at me, tell me I am not my body.
Oh, no. Stop. Stop making eye contact.
I am already naked, but if you continue to watch
then you will see parts of me my neck cannot crane to,
my hand mirrors have only ever shown me caverns and shadows.
I am terrified of my ugly.
I am a hand puppet, with strings at my lips,
and I am never silent in my contortions.
Should we put music on?
Pleasure and pain can sound the same.
I am learning how to tell you the difference.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
This. Just this. I cannot think of anything but this –
Did I lock my car doors?
Okay, almost anything.
Right there. Right there. There. Don’t stop.
I have spent nine years not needing my body.
I still do not need my body.
I need mountains with freedom and dirt under my skin,
I need new bed sheets – that count back from 400,
I need you to claim all the real estate I no longer own,
I need more.
I am cherry tree,
I am cherry wine,
cherry tongue tied,
and I need you most of all to remind me to be here.
Is this taking too long?
A watched pot never boils.
Keep going. Please.
Words are failing, but I will keep trying.
This is no longer an exchange,
I am giving in.
This is human connection.
This is human courtship.
This is human courtesy.
I will learn to speak to you.
But I will be forever tongue tied,
forgetting gender and how to be polite
and how to ask for what I want when I want to
and everyone who had held the door open
Now, where are the cigarettes?
And should we wash the sheets?