We protect each other.

I am needy heart between my teeth romance swirling through my bloodstream cinnamon and pine needles. I take it to other men, I steal away outside to howl my loneliness at the moon, beg the sky for answers. There is nothing in my life that has ever taught me I deserve this. There is nothing in my life that has ever taught me I deserve him.

I spend my days turning him on and I don’t mean to but I mean to. I am shivering with it, this thing between us, and I want to share. Sex I know. Sex is a sphere where I know I have value. I convince myself I can accept sex from him where I can accept so little else.

All these articles about compatibility. I always believed people who let lust overtake their lives are so stupid. I was such a superior idiot. I was so wrong.

His spine stiffening, when I came by. He showed off exactly how well he could wait and say no and not fuck me all day long. He was proud of his no and his no cut right through me. I thought I could resolve his pain and fix the sky between us with sex. I was so wrong. Sex can do many things especially when you are aching for it every second but sex cannot take the place of words.

And I thought my love was toxic. I thought the less of it the better.

He is the face of passion restrained, in my memory. Strain in his forehead, bitterness in his cheeks. I stand frozen in his foreground, halfway between I should have gotten a Brazilian and I wish I was the kind of girl to get Brazilians, wish I had lost 50 pounds before I ever met him, I wish..

My freezing is like his stiffening. I am not playing games. I am desperate for things I never learned how to name.

In my mind all romance feels like a game. Pretty ribbons wrapped around moonlight dancing and every step is another thing I do wrong. Every time I am jolted back to the fact of my own wanting, I sigh. My grief knows no bounds, I am a naiad, born of water. My love is made of water. Every word I say is damp and incorrect and I hate him for witnessing my incompetence and. No one ever taught me how to love him but I am trying and mostly how I try is not good enough, I see that. I am not good enough in his view, and I see this but I think, one more degree a better job a new story one he will like more than my old stories. I try to be as blasé about sex as I assume he is but I dive each night into a sea of wanting. A sea that is inside me, and does not sleep.

I cannot pretend to myself well enough to pretend I want anyone else. I am streaked with wanting him, I think it’s visible on my skin. I am so taken I cannot be untaken and time has nothing to do with it. The longing goes so deep inside of me, my arms cannot reach it. Orgasms are pails of water on a house that is burning.

Sex is more than orgasms and who puts what part of their body where. Sex is the erotic muscular foundation of every move we ever make, and sex is good, feels good, does good in the world. I wish I had taught him that.

Sex and hands and now and if we had climbed into bed he would have tried to prove himself with performance. He would have counted the seconds of his foreplay and counted the seconds of his fucking and I would have lain there impatient all fingernails and let it go, would you? I would have lain there wanting him not this creature terrified of his own wanting,I would not have known how to tell him it was okay but it was okay. I think even by his standards it was okay. I wouldn’t have shared his performance with the class. I never wanted sex to seem like another performance that he could get wrong or get right. Bodies have their own language and his always told me exactly what I need to hear. I just wasn’t always listening.

Sex that shrivels on the vine hurts and sex that blooms without its intended audience hurts more. Turns bloody, cracks like mud for want of loving. Turns black.

I lash out at him inside my head or anywhere else I can reach him. When it is unbearable. When he feels so close even though he is so far away and I could burn to ash at his touch. When I look for his face in the walls and behind my eyes and when I am melted wax.

I am not melted wax I am a girl. I am not afraid of sex. That does not make me crazy.

If sex is a weapon, I am not its wielder. I am its messenger and if I shouted the message too loudly then I am sorry but I stand by the content. I stand by the idea that being a creature who can want this deeply after all I have lived through is a minor miracle. Deserving of celebration.

Fat woman desperate to get laid is a horrifying television trope. In real life the internet is full of men who would fuck me without consternation and without delay. Fucking is not created equal and I care who is the giver. Why is it so hard to believe that women wish to choose who to fuck based on something more than his title or the size of his dick? Sexuality exists somewhere inside and beyond us. We are complicated creatures, we humans. We extricate love from sex then try to shove the two back together, all wrong. I hate him because he can close his eyes and fuck someone else. What I feel is all-encompassing but what he felt was a blip, it would seem, and easy to forget, and better left forgotten. I am a careening, burning thing, now. Patriarchy has burnt me until I am black and peeling because I flew too close to something real. I suppose he himself never intended such a gauche and animalistic thing as lust. I suppose he had to punish me for causing it. I suppose he had to destroy me like the monster that I am, toss my head at the feet of his pretty princess girlfriend to prove his commitment to the principles of colonialist whiteness. Destroy what came before, reshape his own desires.

And so the indigenous personality of awkward geeky boy with big hands and too many books and not enough PlayStation hours clocked and no interest in sports, transformed into a guy who can watch basketball with her cousins on the weekends and hold his own. I wish he had left this other part of himself with me. This part of himself that lies underneath. The part I loved the very best of all.

I did not fall in love with his mind, first. I fell wanting his scent all over me. I didn’t know him but I knew him. Intellectualizing relationship only goes so far. The body reminds me of that, every day.

There are some things about bodies I know that he doesn’t know. Like being desired is not somehow repulsive. Like being grabbed by someone who in his greed just wants to feel himself taking is not the same as being held by someone who is dying for lack of touching you. I know the difference.

I know, but I flashback, or I wince at my own audacity, or he taught me to disbelieve myself. My teeth chattering with wanting him, he said my lust was despicable, disgusting, so I turned it into fertilizer for a new existence as a real actual demon in his view, hunting him. I don’t want to destroy him, at heart. Part of me still remembers I used to love him. Still do, in the part of me that remembers how. But I am Samson and he cut my hair and my sense of self and my faith in my own desire as a good thing. Now I am a Willow tree, too tired to weep. My voice walled up inside me where I can’t reach.

I am not an unplowed field and I did not need him to civilize me. I have my own ideas about love and sex and they are not worse than his. I was Penelope and loyal to a fault for so many months. He can move on so easily but I am entangled here near the bottom of the social hierarchy and I cannot date or fuck without risking humiliation and danger and exploitation. His power under patriarchy is such that every step I take, any choice I even can make, becomes another example to him of how crazy I am, how worthless, how undeserving of a voice in the proceedings of my own life.

I will never forgive him for this life but I wish he would try to make me forgive him.

My lust has blood clots attached, and teeth. I am increasingly a woods rotting from the scent of my own abundance. I am the unwanted reminder of so much. Our community sings about the beloved and how long have we confused the difference between G-D and sexuality?

I want him to lust-strewn make it better but these days I want to tear him to pieces too. I am a blackened rotting heart and bloodlust and lust are intertwining snakes in my belly. Love inverts to hate and I can blame patriarchy but he made choices, too.

He thinks I write like this because I am crazy, I want him because I am crazy, my existence in his view is circumscribed by my crazy. I convinced myself one day I would prove my sanity the way girls think we can prove our innocence well enough not to get raped but we never can.

No one is ever innocent enough, are they? No one is ever sane enough.

We all deserve to be safe. We all deserve to be heard.

And I am not interested in his perspective on the matter any more.

Writes all the things. Photographs the light. Smiles at odd moments. Reads in the shower. Sings to the trees. Hopes a lot.

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