Los Angeles
920 W 37th Place #3204-C
United States
41° 27' 57.6756" N, 81° 42' 34.596" W

And this is how it starts. We're halfway into this cheap bottle of wine, both of us have seen "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" at least three dozen times, and don't think I haven't noticed your hand on my thigh. And I can read you like Shakespeare, which is to say better than most and improving with practice, and I know damn well that I'm two kisses to your neck away from the hitch of your breath, and this is how it starts.

Someone once told me that if you're going to write a poem about sex, people should have to wonder if it's about sex. Maybe if I was classier, or a better writer, I could write that poem. But this is not that poem. This is a poem that takes place about twenty seven minutes, four position changes, and two not quite simultaneous orgasms later (but we were so close this time), and it starts with you making a lighthearted comment about the mess.

It is making up excuses for why I can't take a shower, won't do laundry. "My hair will look weird if it doesn't have time to dry right," or "Ugh, I'm just so damn lazy, why don't you lay down, baby - maybe do that thing again." And we end up falling asleep, sticky and satisfied.

But what I'm not saying is that sleeping in sheets stained with your cum is the closest I've ever come to feeling like all I need is the folds of this fabric to forge something of myself again. When you're having sex with a broken girl, rule number one is you don't fuck to fix. In sunlight, when the currents and tides of the day lure us apart momentarily, it is then I am forced to admit that sex with you is not therapy. But it's a close second and I'll be damned if it doesn't feel better.

And I know there are moments: moments when I flinch under fingertips that in my mind are no longer yours, and I'm sorry. But I am learning to discern certain subtleties between the exploration and colonization of my body, and you are no Columbus.

Joke about the mess all you want, but there's no business quite as messy as a girl raped at six and left alone in the back of a car to pull on panties with trembling fingers, so excuse me if the only thing I see in the "mess" of your semen is haven, because the fact that I am not trying to scrub this out from under fingernails like dried blood is proof enough that you have taught me men do not have pain etched into palms like privilege, and that to touch is not always to hurt.

The sad truth, darling, is that I have lived with ghosts in my skin and my sock drawer longer than I have had my period, longer than I've been able to ride my bike without training wheels. There are no credits that can be expected to start rolling, no expiration date on this kind of coping. There are days when I am less stardust than sawdust, less survivor than victim, but that does not mean that the reclamation of my own body is any less eternal. And this - this slightly buzzed fuck with Harry Potter playing in the background, this momentary investment in a long term endeavor, this whisper in my ear reminding me that I am so goddamn beautiful - this is how it starts.


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