Sex Before Sexuality

I lost my virginity under a bed
the cave where monsters hide
when they’ve grown too big for the closet
our nails sliced each others tumbled tree hipbones
our trembling names army knived across peach bark
there was permanence in those quivers
those matching panties ironed to the floor
that half digested shame

she’d seen my breasts before
but this time I showed her
showed her a drawing of these curves without hemlines
let her color me in with wildfire

It was the first time I bubble wrapped my body in branches
and last time someone thanked me for it

we weren’t in a closet
but I was still hiding
fenced up in her skin

I left no cards in her memories
Became the guy I was afraid to fuck
the bed deserted in a maze of snores
the lethal mute on harmonized heartbeats

After our flame all I wanted was a fire escape

I gave all of me
but took her pieces once the sheets bleached to reminiscence
Ironed myself a virgin for another year
Hoping it could wire her aluminum fingers into a DVR
I could record straight over 

What do you call finding the right person before yourself?
Sex before sexuality?
Learning CPR and in a massacre
and pounding your hands against a gasping corpse

Six months later
at a frat party so buzzard crowded
you could only rot alone
I texted her
Asked if we could do that thing again
that thing
you goddamn well know you aren’t ready to have sex
when you can’t let the word surf your tongue
When it tastes like an apology
or an exclamation point lopsided to a question mark
She was not punctuation
she was the whole sentence
I was just too afraid to say it out loud
But now
I am saying it
Out loud
Standing up as straight as lightning
slightly leaning both ways
but still electrifying
The italicized exclamation point as I was meant to be
the queer girl I was meant to be
We did it under a bed
but that didn’t make us monsters
We did it under a bed
because she didn’t like to sleep too high
because even dreams can be grounded
because this moment didn’t need to be put on a pedestal
We did it under a bed
because coming out shouldn’t be put on a pedestal
It’s skydiving
Not the hardest thing to do
but the hardest thing to decide to do
and I guess I needed her to say yes for me
and the next time I will make her say yes for me
like a sunset stretching its neck across the horizon

Here’s to the next morning.


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