I wish I had more words for
tossing jumpers from my dollhouse,
that may have been where I learned
to cut my hair like my brother
but I first
learned how to get undressed:

the boy in the bed asking
me to try on something that
slips off and
now I’m in tight pants
and loose sweaters and
just another verse
picking at its stitches,
grunting from the dark and
taking educated guesses at the Rorschach blot
that spreads across its skirt
when she is strut.
but writing with a vocal fry;
a sort of deflection, uptalk and
cadence, downplaying
it with rhythm as you
try to capture the moment
you were knees first on
a pink and white daybed
as he showed you all the ways
to take it;
passive pistil,
this is what men want;
humiliation of
all the little violations
that add up to today
without one strong word
or accurate verb
to describe the way a knife
sticks for a second and you moan
the wrong way.

what sounds better to you?
I say over coffee, trying to
finish some titles,
possibly in love but also

.“besieged” or “PTSD”
or simply

“the act of naming things”

you tell me your preferences
with a bit of a clenched fist
and I know you are fighting
some primal scream that turns you into
the thing that beats the submission
into me, licks me clean
and that is

I’ve been around.
I’ve dated men
plenty of times:
saved their leftovers,
moved their crossword puzzles, watch,
socks from the floor,
ignored their predacious attacks on my
ignored their violation of
contract re: respect and space
and “I’m too drunk to sleep
with you.”
ignored their wandering eyes,
wandering hands,
wandering notions of pre
consent when I am now too drunk
to stand.
I’m proud to say I’ve adjusted
to many morose habits before.
in fact,

my newest craze is
find the trauma and puncture it,
bleed onto my palms and
taste it; the way it felt
to be used like that and years later
the aftertaste       swallow
another old neg or two,
a curse word, a punch directed at the wall,
a public critique of an outfit or body part
or everything at once.
a light strangle, a light
choke in the sheets;
a little sexual coercion to get me roped and
in heat.
(I’m ready for this)
  that means you were tired but wanted it
sometimes the body is replete
with blockages and I just
feast on past rapes
until I’m plump,
obese with past places
that rocked me gently to sleep
   I was tired but wanted it
like a noose,
but worn tastefully.
   that means privately and quiet
ass swamped with little taps
at crowded parties,
“honey, smile!” and “where you going, whore?”
hips full with sudden caresses on
the subway, at the office, at the party,
after school, and other places too;
my fingers bursting with strangers’ hands
that grabbed mine in the bathroom
when I was sick and he
assumed a slumped girl over a toilet
wanted to touch him, wanted to
prove something could rise
from her grip.

lungs heavy with little moans at the
wrong time, little “nos” they just can’t
hear over their own gasps,
over the bed creak,
over me slowly falling asleep
underneath them.
(that means I wanted it)
my sacral remembers every single score
of every man that touched me while I was
peacefully sleeping in my inebriation,
  that means deserved
and every man that grabbed me on the subway car
and every thirteen year old boy that rubbed me
as a five year old girl
and every man that watched me hang myself
before he would either remove his dick to get
the law involved
  baby, here are my words, they are the law
or believe me at all.

I’ve dined on my own tongue;
loyal and quaking
flush with recollection and
shaking prologues for
so long,
even a yawn at the wrong time
causes her to shrink
in ignominious retreat.
honestly,  it might be fun to have a little help
disappearing completely
  no, no, you sit, I’ll stand, I’ve taken up too much space anyhow
if we both get started
there may be nothing left of me
by dawn to hold onto
or photograph or
follow with your car,
tell me what you think about my style:
my gritted smile,
ass, boobs, hips, and face.
put me in my place:
print those pictures and
exploit me,
deny my needs,
deny my history.
whistle slap gaslight,
intimidate in alleyways when I’m trying to
get home and you’re trying to feel
giant, or when it gets going–
 mind the rope there

with all the kinks possible,
wouldn’t that still be something
kind of new for you,

“you up?”

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