When labels were collars around necks
ruffled, feathered, leather, yoke
you were either ‘gay‘ or you weren’t
I was. And I fell for a man.
Boy really. Once. Only time.
Hips smaller than mine, delving into my bones
like cream poured through coffee we burned calcium
our former labels damp at the door.
The value of a woman is in her smell
the rustle of her soul, how gentle and tough
merge together into womanhood
he was none of these
acrid, funny tasting (masculine?) Sinewy arms wrapping around
like a lost bear it didn’t feel ‘right‘ it didn’t feel ‘wrong‘
we were very young, his mind on fire trying to figure out the world
popping little tabs like they could pause time
because God, someone had to.
In Winter’s loose ends, we holed up at his brother’s flat
half-Thai eyes and burnt toast skin, along with the tang of marijuana
it’s hard not to fall for genius’s and sexual beings with magnetism in their lips
we lay in the dark, he emulated a girl and then became a boy
shadows on the wall, male, female, something more
I clung to him through torrent, it didn’t feel ‘wrong‘ it didn’t feel ‘right‘
night stretched out in submission, he loved me being a woman
in ways maybe another woman never has
joined we were, hard to separate, laughter, solace, grief, shards of joy
his body sleek like a girls, hard to accept the difference, I looked away
feeling him move inside me like a word
aching for punctuation.
I felt like a woman, a woman, a woman
contrast, a figure of eight in reflection
kinder than any girl I knew, smarter than any other human
a girl will touch your breasts with knowing, then ask you to find her bra
he brought me gypsy guitar and red wine and sucked until I screamed.
Dancers, we, danced in detail, scratching out labels defining
what this was, who, what?
I didn’t love him, no. Love an underdeveloped muscle
in a closed box, only women and their sharpness can pick
he searched my face, my breasts, my thighs, for signs
of relenting, wanting to bury himself within, become one
stay together, two cusps, why not? Be mine. Marriage
some papered form of devotion. Not ownership, just need.
I wanted to give him a child then, birth it
right there on the futon, beneath moon, hollering; “eat me until
I become glutted on your goodness,” We shook together
a ritual, procession into silvered ore earth’s center
letting go, the child came, bidden, quickening, like opening
your mouth and accepting change, drink me down
between my legs, the writhe of us, male/female/female/male
losing edges, the blurred outline of pretense.
We woke when the light came
to an empty room
nothing left of us to consume
just condom wrapper
unused by the bedside
and life in my belly rounding music
he wore my silver ring
I told him, don’t cut your hair
we walked in opposite directions
he took a bus
I, a train
he never knew I took him too
in my belly, quiet and full.
23 thoughts on “Ecstasy”
This is a beautiful story beautifully written…was there a baby or have I totally missed the point. 💜
Candice, I’ve read so many poems, stories, and essays of yours and this one . . . This one will stay with me for an extremely long time. It’s my favorite. Everything about it is why I love poetry.
This is so damn good!
I find myself wondering, if he were now a poet, how he would write that night. I would hope it would be similar, different in many ways, but as clear in that passion. Or, if he stumbled upon this poem, would he think; “Oh, that girl, that night.” I hope he would, whether it was followed by: “I haven’t thought of her in years.”, or, “She’s been so often in my mind.”
Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
TheFeatheredSleep – Two young people, one night
awesome poem! ❤ ❤ well done!
This is a lovely, poignant and sensitive (yes, sensitive) poem of finding oneself. Every line is beautiful in its revelation and I adore: ‘feeling him move inside me like a word
aching for punctuation.’
I found this very moving and, although our early experiences are surely worlds apart, nostalgic and almost like a half forgotten memory.
Powerful and Beautiful.
Certainly a journey of discovery
Thank you for standing with me my friend
Thank you so much my friend! It wasn’t an experience of mine but I do try! Very very appreciative to you xo
Thank you so very much dearest Carol
WOW! You made my week! Thank you! Huge praise coming from someone whom I admire in every single way.
In the story there was. Yes. You always get it my friend. xo
ha! It’s not a true story but I thought the same thing writing it! I would hope he would too. I think intensity like that, chances he would.
You’re most welcome!
I want that story to be true for somebody, somewhere. Now, I imagine someone reading it and thinking, “Oh, my God! It’s about me! ” and reliving that night.
Always and forever.
I look at the rabbit photos to get me through the crap days snowgirl xo
Me too. ha ha ha! That’s really funny isn’t it!
Kinda still have BRIGHT RED CHEEKS OF JOY
I can ALWAYS send more 💕
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