Tag: Men

11pm Admission

His breath wafted over onto my neck.  Warm and content, as relaxed as the rest of him.  Inches away, my body was all latches and locks– even when intimate.  I only know how to stay stiff when close to men’s bodies, when even the sweetest lover can sour into a predator with the wrong word.

“You’re so tense,” he purred in that dreamy baritone akin to pillow talk.  I was facing away from him.  My eyes squeezed shut. “Do I tell him?  Does someone I barely know deserve a secret that’s never felt air?”  my mind raced in the milliseconds between his question and my response.  “A man hit me once,” I whimpered.  I gulped so hard the saliva and air was a boulder slowly rolling down my throat the whole way down.  The ominous silence ravaged my nerves.

His arms made closure where there was distance, each bicep cradling me.  His core was now the brace upholding my spine.  “I am so sorry,” he articulated clearly into my ear. These weren’t sweet nothings.  Where there had been some seductive play there was now sincerity.  “It’s fine,” I shrugged.  I didn’t want pity.  I hadn’t ripped my way through this ruthless life to have some random man to tell me that a man shouldn’t have beaten the shit out of me.  I knew that.

A gentle squeeze followed my rebuff.  “No, I’m sorry,” he repeated, squeezing again.  I muttered “Fuck you” into the pillow.  The warm breath was even closer now.  He lingered by my ear, until I whipped around to face him.  Now, eyes locked into one another, breath heavy in exchange, he brushed his hand against my cheek, “I’m sorry you were hurt.  I’m sorry that happened to you”.  My jaw shook at something I’d waited so long to hear hailing from such an unexpected place.   I couldn’t thank him.  “Thank you” couldn’t pass my lips not only because he didn’t get to be my savior, but because I was certain that if I said anything, I would weep.  So, with his hand still resting on my cheek, I smiled.  My body, a slab of granite for so many before him, softened to flesh.  We reminded silent, transfixed by each other’s eyes until sleep arrived.


My thunder thighs don’t say temple.

My stretchmarks are not stones where monks kneel.

My bruises and scars are not made of stained glass.

My body isn’t a temple.

My body.

This body,

is capable of recovery and growth.

It meditates in the miracle of healing.

It’s not stagnant, not easily broken.


I don’t think they know what my body isn’t– only what it is.

And to them, it is a site of worship.

The focus and reverence on my skin,

wordless prayers on my lips–

I can tell I am church to this person.

That this is a pilgrimage they’ve made.

I don’t know all the lovers and deserts they’ve fasted through,

What seas of strangers they’ve parted to be here,

Right here,

Testifying at the center of me.

I don’t know what sermons they’re saying,

but I feel what they mean,

what they mean in this monotheistic moment.

This person makes me feel like this is the only god they could ever fathom praising.


I am not my own temple.

Any temple that’s suffered the wreckage I have would never survive.

But this can be a temple for someone else,

their sanctuary for visiting touch.

We become shelters for those who honor us enough to let them stay.


Warning Label

I wasn’t built to be small

Or quiet

Or demure.

I was made with a blowtorch rather than a paintbrush,

And my tongue is more stiletto than taffy.

I am Fortissimo on a Tuesday,

and utterly deafening come Friday.

To love me is to dance with me as I am,

rather than trying so desperately to sweep me off my feet.

To love me is to understand that cutting me down to size is like taking a nail file to the Himalayas,

Arrogant that you can reduce something that only knows how to be vast.

There’s a lot of dull sandpaper in my wake.

So you,

potential suitor,

you with lantern eyes lit by my fire,

I can’t shrink for you.

I won’t try

because I know what I was made for.


I don’t have fingers and toes enough to count people who know me as an idea–

Fashion me in fiction

because reality is a heavier matter.

To them, I am a caricature.


I met you and the alphabet has been backwards ever since.

You get me.

I met you and before the outrage and opulence,

You understood the color of my soul.

There is a subtle addiction to those who recognize our spirits,

Even when I worry it’s run away from me.

You catch it.


Your sound is unencumbered violins,

Hurried melody, harmony, velvet smooth.

Your smell is something sweet from the kitchen as I sit in the living room–

tantalized even from afar.


Your heart proceeds everything else about you,

magnanimous enough that it makes me softer.


I know what it’s like to be regarded as a work of fiction–

To hear yourself as an idea rather than a person.

But you–

You understood me.


Thank you for being my friend and loving me as I am.



He liked me less

when he realized

I am more burlap than satin.

That’s the thing about men–

some only want me when I make myself

small enough for them to wrangle.