when i turned 17 my mother gave me a marble topped dresser
wobbling on her feet at my bedroom door
she asked if my birthday went well
six months later i realized the bottom panel was a secret drawer


quiet intimacy

sometime after my 13th birthday but
before my 14th
i rode double on a bike to my town’s best park
and sucked my first dick in the dark under a tree
we weren’t good at communicating yet so
his cum fell in my hair and mouth
i spit it out
and cried

my parents never talked to me about sex
they yelled at me for being alone with a boy
they grounded me for hiding him in my garage
or bedroom or attic or basement

sometime after my 15th birthday but
before my 16th
i lay double under a blanket on my front porch’s bench
and decided to stop pretending to fuck
we knew by then how to communicate but not like this so
he fumbled and squirmed and gave up
dry humped
and i cried

my friends and i always talked about sex
we assumed i’d be the first to have it
i told them about all my escapades in my garage
or bedroom or attic or basement

sometime after my 17th birthday but
before my 18th
i waited alone on my boyfriend’s bed
and he walked to get condoms
we had done everything but this so
it was awkward and a little painful
i bled
and didn’t cry

clay villains

every night i slide into dreams.
they are bad dreams
vivid and dark villains pushed together,
red and grey and brown clay
edges still crinkly
if they were rolled smooth,
orderly marbles
with clean whorls and intents,
i could place them

but no

they are people with-
three names,
two voices,
no faces.
people i know
or don’t

every morning i wake up unsettled
sweaty to my toes
trying to hold onto the villains
long enough to remember their faces
so if we meet again,
i can whisper, “you don’t scare me