I can’t make you feel what beats inside of me I say
touching his melting collar bone.
What connects the sparkles firing away in my upper thighs to the length I am willing
to follow your raspy voice
when you to tell to come here.
To be here.
To lay down, to be half empty.
The same raise and fall of fingers that I know is good.
A movement that, if performed correctly would cause my muscles to shake because in my language,
in my own tongue
that’s what big love feels like.
Love feels like comfort, love feels like I don’t have to say sorry when there is nothing to blame myself for.
Not a secret sin plastered across my chest
not a red stain flowing full force on pleated cotton.
My love feels like not having to choke on my own words when they twist and tumble outside of my mouth
waiting for you to catch them in midnight.
I can’t make you feel what moves me, what causes my memory to fill and then empty without much space in between.
Your slumbering body restless
only wanting you, for once, to keep your eyes open long enough to see the breakdown.
Not to love me for a sliver of a moment, but to feel me.
To ask me where I’ve been all this time you were away.
I can’t tell you my secrets because I can already see you growing bored of me.
Your face, I know that face.
It’s the same one. A half glazed over look in ten million
beautiful, burnt, blue eyes that cute boys majoring in business
or pre-law or frat life.
gave to me when I tried to flirt with them at house parties in college.
We only travel in packs.
We don’t want women, we want girls.
We only invited you here because your much prettier friend has strong knees and a much weaker heart.
About Reproductive rights,
about why I am scared to be a woman without a man.
About the way that I have been wounded and not hurt or heartbroken
how I am not bitter, this is just what my face looks like when I’m trying not to punish you
for not knowing the difference, and not knowing better.
The same face my mother makes when I come back to Pittsburgh
and don’t bring anyone who loves me.
Even if it was a girl, but she would prefer a husband.
A husband in the making.
A halfway, look at the way he looks at you while you’re cooking barefoot in the kitchen husband.
Someone who works a nine to five and helps her when my spirit gets too wild,
who helps to tame me because I’ve never had a firm hand,
and maybe that was her fault too.
I tell her I’m twenty-two and just waiting.
And that she should be happy for me to wander.
To not be settling with bloody palms, broken caps bending at a distorted angel.
I just want you to be happy.
I just want you to learn to love in the ways I never did.
I’m worried, always worried, that I made you hard.
That I gave you a life that would later turn you from women to stone.
From your green eyes to that thick, matted red hair.
When are you going to brush it?
When are you going to cut in short so that the men that look at you sideways when we go grocery shopping for Christmas dinner can see your face?
And I laugh and smile because of course she does.
She always does.
But when I am explaining why I am alone,
why I am not comfortable in my lonely
when I try and tell her about the grey shadows that keep me up nights, that make me sleep till half way past noon
she shakes her head and tells me I’m lucky I’m beautiful but even luckier that I am young.
So, explaining my heart to you is like crossing frozen waves in the Atlantic
in the dead of January.
When even the sky shivers.
And pulls her cat closer to her nearly numb, nervous ears.
And you want to know why I can’t just fuck you and leave.
You wonder why when I look you in the eyes I am searching for something different.
Because in truth, I am searching for your heartbeat.
I am searching for any signs of life,
any pieces I can pull together to make sure that you are a man and not a ghost.
Can’t you see?
I am searching for someone I can trust but you fall short.
Sometimes I wonder what it is that I am still doing
Begging you to force love with a cut-out stocking, tempting, teasing, trying.
Every single thing I promised myself not to use, even when I knew it would be easier.
Pleading with tired eyes.
And a body that cannot give you the fantasy that you dreamed when you first saw me.
The same way that I won’t ever be as pretty as the well-spoken Jewish girl you fell in love with two years ago.
The one that you never really seem to stop bringing up.
The one with parents and a sister who made you uncomfortable at Hanukkah when they talked about religion and politics
And because no one would let you finish a sentence.
No one would listen.
So, you went into the kitchen and started to help the help wash matzah off of china because that’s how different you were from her.
The girl you still love who bought you that Banksy print that hangs perfectly straight above your bed that you never make when I come over because you are comfortable in your plain and pitiful disaster.
And you are never inviting me into it.
You are only expecting me to attend.