Cut You Open, Crawl Inside

By Jia Sung for my piece.

The following is the result of me trying to fit a bunch of thoughts about love, sex, and intimacy into a single piece. It came out as a poem… or a list… or something. It’s a quick and probably painless read that dips into things like saying “I love you” too quickly, unfortunate standards around intimacy, and ineffective healing strategies.

Can I plz sleep inside ur skin, bb?

Cut You Open, Crawl Inside

All I wanted was to hold your hand.

I lost my voice, afraid that:

  1. You would feel rejected.
  2. I would look like a child.
  3. It was too platonic to be meaningful.

But sometimes sex feels like hand-holding and sometimes hand-holding feels like sex.

Why is one type of touch portrayed as more significant?

  1. There are nerves in my hands.
    • Radial, ulnar, median.
  2. But my hand can’t get pregnant,
    • which means you can’t own it
    • or me.
  3. Chip off my nail polish.
  4. Trace my veins.
  5. Tell me you’re a palm reader,
    • that you can see where and who I have been.
    • I want to be lied to like that.
  6. Ask me about the scar on my right hand.
    • I will tell you about my drug addiction,
    • a broken dish, and
    • a double dose of Vicodin.
  7. Suck on my fingers like phalluses, like
    • a new trend and not
    • your stale special blend.

It’s never enough.

Maybe that’s why I need you inside me to feel loved.

  1. No, not like that.
    • Like, “Baby, I wanna split you open and crawl under your skin, then zip you up again.”

I am stuck with two options:

  1. Apathy
  2. Autopsies

Did you know?!

  1. I had sex with you because I needed a place to sleep.
  2. I had sex with you because I mistook lust for intimacy.
  3. I had sex with you because I missed my mommy.
  4. I had sex with you because I was dirty.
  5. I had sex with you because you were touching me.
  6. I had sex with you because his best friend raped me and he didn’t trust me and and and and and and

I am not afraid to say, “I love you,”


  1. I told Conlan that I loved him as much as the homeless lady on Franklin Avenue and 26th Street.
    • That’s as much as I love anyone, I think.
  2. I told Niko I loved him within a week.
    • The words scared him.
    • I’m going to die someday, so they no longer scare me.
    • (Mom yells, “CARPE DIEM, EMILY!”)
  3.  I told Dustin I loved him in a bathroom.
    • His face was smeared with peanut butter and
    • A slice of bread was stuck to each cheek.
    • He kissed me with tongue.
      1. ½ tbs. peanut butter, eaten from face: 50 kcal.
  4. I wrote Jeter a letter with Avett Brothers lyrics in a sad attempt to be cryptic.
    • “Three words that become hard to say,
    • blank and blank and blank.”

I love you, tree. I love you, spring. I love you, scars. I love you, chair. I love you, sun. Iloveyoushannonelsacorazonnoraedwinmeghanzachlukejamiepatrickjessicaangelinapatriksethcolleengregdustinmomdaddavidsarahpetterneildanryankeeganetc.

I love you, pissed off shitbag at the library.

I love you, suburban mommy with the double stink eye.

I love you because I am trying to project positivity or whatever.

  1. Enlightenment requires:
    • Loving all things?
    • Letting go of attachments?
    • Forgiving the past, forgetting the future?
    • Staying fully present?
  2. Okay, cool, but
    • I NEED YOU.
  3. There is beauty in accepting imperfection.
    • You don’t have to try.
    • You don’t have to grow.
    • You don’t have to let go if you’re not ready.
  4. “I’ll never be ready!”
    • Jump anyway.

Can we have sex as friends?

Can we stay clothed as lovers?

Can I please just hold your fucking hand?

I told my therapist that I wanted to be held by someone. She told me to learn how to hold myself. She said to buy a weighted blanket and wrap myself up in it. She said healing required abstinence.

I didn’t listen. I had sex with Jason in my twin bed on the second floor of the treatment center. He was kicked out of the program. I was publicly shamed. I read my apology to the group:

  1. “Having sex is as detrimental for me as drinking a beer would be for an alcoholic. Physical contact is the first drink, I get the buzz and I want more.”
  2. “Great, and what have you learned, Leif?”
  3. “I have learned the best treatment for rape is slut-shaming.”
  4. “Wonderful.”


I’m over it.

The boy who loves me speaks my language.

He gives me three options:

  1. Apathy
  2. Autopsies
  3. Hand-holding.

View from home.

4 thoughts on “Cut You Open, Crawl Inside

  1. You said it was “painless” and you lied. But that’s ok, I need more truth. This is a very interesting piece from a literary, compositional blah blah perspective. What I mean to say is, it makes my heart queasy and my breath shallow and I like it. You are a mighty truth-telling, big mouth, badass, open heart, word goddess.

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