We spend all our lives learning to have good sex.

We learn how to touch. How to get someone off. How to make someone have fun, even when she’s sad and lonely. How to make someone orgasm, even when he feels unsafe and misses his mother.

Men flee from me wanting to cry and I flee from men wanting to lock myself in a room, alone.

The erotic exists in a realm we cannot enter. A space governed by intoxicating scents and storms of emotion. By rose petals on the wind and stars I don’t know the names for, but you do.

I am afraid of chaos, true. But I am not afraid of him.

We are animals underneath. I am lying hair scattered across the pillows of men I fuck to punish him for wanting me and not saying it. I break things between my teeth, laptops, statues of gods. I am a good soldier snapped to attention. He belongs to White people now, it is where he belongs, doesn’t he?

If I really love him, I should let him go. If I really love him. If.

I.

I was once a girl in a forest full of lost things and truncated songs. I was once his angel looking down on him from afar. I crawled into his bed at night and we slept shoulder to shoulder, thick as thieves. We were thieves. We stole from our people’s history. What we stole was time.

I was never lonely. I ate his love when I was loveless. I drank his touch when I was hopeless. I came for the first time in my life because he looked at me and that look was like a touch.

I fantasize about touching him. If the cost is being touched, I suppose I’d better learn to pay.

We learn to love by never loving, only pretending. We think of whatever it takes to get through it. I think about him or else I can’t get off. The cost of getting off with someone else is breaking something holy.

My goddess statue has a broken wing. My god statue has a broken bow. We broke each other, a little bit, but that’s okay. I will buy him a new one someday.

There is nothing about his skin that is different from everyone else’s skin. There is nothing about his mouth. His scent. Except it’s his. And I know it. I am known by it.

I learned to be ashamed of this body. I never learned to be ashamed of his body, of wanting him.

Sex as a subculture taught to hate itself is different. It just is. You believe your desire is different from all others. Toxic. Despicable. You learn to hide away.

I did not put my mouth on him, out loud. He did not tell me I could worship him and so I did not. Waiting for an invitation. Sex crackling and blue between us, blue like the center of ice in his chest. Blue like my eyes with no sunglasses to shield me from him seeing me looking. Drinking my fill, out loud.

He didn’t kiss me. But then, I didn’t kiss him either.

The root of magic, so they say, is the heart. Not the center of emotion. The center of myself.

Men can’t tell, you know. When women turn into a field of flowers longing for an appreciative eye. An appreciative camera. A mouth over my mouth.

Men see arousal in women and believe it is their own to take, or not. They do not understand everything a woman feels has a cause. Sometimes, the cause is outside her own mind. Sometimes it is even in them.

My body, his body. Men need protection from sex, because other men make even good things dangerous. I did not protect him. I did not understand. I deserve a goddess with a broken wing. I deserve to be a girl with a broken heart.

I wrote him love letters he never got. I wrote him cruel ones that he did.

Here are the facts, underneath all the thoughts: my body will not turn on beneath anyone else’s hands. I have an arousal map the shape of his heart.

I met him once, a long time ago. Before anyone told me I didn’t deserve him. Before anyone told him I was lying about how much I want him.

I always wanted to fall in love. And I did. I did.

We learn how to fuck so our partner is convinced we love them, and can come. We learn how to make someone else feel safe and feel cared for. We tell ourselves that’s all there is, and is enough.

I never touched him but there is a sea of gold and I watched his body seal through the waves and I would have opened my legs if he had asked. If I had not been so busy being a good girl so he would think I was one. So busy not fucking him against the sand like an animal.

Wherever love comes from, it does not skip the animal inside. We push back and push down but the monster rises again. She has claws and owl eyes and a carved Jewish beak down the center of her face. She puts pen to paper. She writes all the lines she never licked into his skin.

We do terrible things to each other. Until sex is painful for women and for men.

I cannot restore him but I can love him. I never put much stock in love. I thought love was only a good thing if the person giving was a pretty girl.

I am not a pretty girl, I am an animal. I do not fantasize about rose petal hotel beds. My fantasies are a darker shade of pink than that. I fantasize about his skin in my lips and his body in all the parts of me. Opening all the aspects of me that can be reached.

I am not carved from his rib I am carved in the shape of his dream. I wish for impossible things but wonder changes the place where impossible turns to possibility.

I am still the place where flowers grow. For all the same reasons as before.

Sex without love is a game we play to win the right to stop playing it. Not me.

If I die for wanting him, let me die honestly.

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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