Ecstasy

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

remember nothing

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.

Save you

We are rarely touched enough, by far away concerns

Though we should

Give a damn

I was told it was their fault they went into the cave

Made me wonder

At the empathy quota

Of some

For last night

In the darkness

I imagined them in their dark cavern

No security

Just the absence of everything

As oxygen lost

And waters threatened to rise

I prayed

To God

To thimbles

To caves

To monsoons

To mercy

They did not die

It must not be in vain

Somehow

Save them

They live now

On the thin cusp of chance

I cannot tip the balance

Imagining their parents

The exhausting weight of time

Patience nobody has

Will they survive?

I try to think of ways

It reminds me

We are free

It reminds me

How little we think

Of others

Clinging on

When we get consumed by unimportant rages

If I could dive

And take your hand

I would hold my breath

Like Shelly Winters in The Posidon

She died saving them

I was about your age when I watched that film

I asked my dad

Why do good people suffer?

He said don’t worry

But I did

I wanted to forget

It’s easier

Her eyes kept coming back

Just as you

With your skinny legs drawn away from the edge

Tell me we only have one thing left of worth

Our hearts

So I pray

Whether I believe in God or not

For a miracle or a hero

To save you all

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/07/05/asia/thai-cave-diver-intl/index.html