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:
- You would feel rejected.
- I would look like a child.
- 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?
- There are nerves in my hands.
- Radial, ulnar, median.
- But my hand can’t get pregnant,
- which means you can’t own it
- or me.
- Chip off my nail polish.
- Trace my veins.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
Did you know?!
- I had sex with you because I needed a place to sleep.
- I had sex with you because I mistook lust for intimacy.
- I had sex with you because I missed my mommy.
- I had sex with you because I was dirty.
- I had sex with you because you were touching me.
- 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,”
- 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.
- 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!”)
- 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.
- ½ tbs. peanut butter, eaten from face: 50 kcal.
- 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.
- Enlightenment requires:
- Loving all things?
- Letting go of attachments?
- Forgiving the past, forgetting the future?
- Staying fully present?
- Okay, cool, but
- PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME.
- I NEED YOU.
- I’LL NEVER LET GO.
- 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.
- “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:
- “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.”
- “Great, and what have you learned, Leif?”
- “I have learned the best treatment for rape is slut-shaming.”
BAD GIRL DIRTY GIRL SLUTTY GIRL BITCHY GIRL STUPID WHORE BULLDOZER HOMEWRECKER BLAME TAKER SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME
I’m over it.
The boy who loves me speaks my language.
He gives me three options: