poetry

the safety of virgins

I don’t know if Daria Argento is guilty of sleeping with an underage boy

whether it was against his will, statutory rape

or both

but I know it is sad when a #metoo movement spokesperson lets everyone down

though is it the way of fallen heroes in this country, to redeem themselves

there is a hypocracy to thinking

if a man has sex

it can’t be against his will

I know that’s not true

my first boyfriend told me

a girl who sat on a window ledge

made him in her bed

and he felt fallow and diseased

as she at 22 and he 14, rode together

not long afterward

he turned Goth and slit his wrists

the bitchy girls at school taunted him

with cat-calls of ‘you cut the wrong direction fuck head’

and I dated him out of empathy or sympathy

or some kind of thy

because I couldn’t imagine wanting to die and being derided for my failure to succeed

I could feel the welt of scar tissue on his boy wrists

also I know

there is something safe

about virgin men

I liked the comfort of

being the first and not a bed notch

it occurred to me later

I may not have been searching for virgins

but a different gender altogether

though at the time it was a divided world

of normal and dykes, fags and queers

I did not fit into any category

so I played with boys who were untouched and so damn grateful

that’s where I learned what I like

is to be needed

even if the need

is fleeting and superficial

that was better than being

a girl shoved aside for the next

there is something grateful and tender

about boys who lose their virginity

and become men in your arms

I liked how they didn’t carry disease or pre conceptions

I liked how I knew I wouldn’t be their last

free to lend them the tenderness of one night

before pretending with day

nothing had transpired

we seek to be whole and inviolate

we want love and feel alienated

by the emptiness of our role

when love is unsafe we turn

to a time before where

young boys do not scold

(La Fin de Chéri)

Standard
fiction

nina’s not a virgin

197319-7

art by emma vakarelova

They made love with the air conditioning turned off even when it hit 40 degrees celsius, the warmest summer on record. The smell of their sex hung in the air with the humidity.

Juan lay on his stomach, his face buried in Nina’s shoulder, who was on her back staring at the ceiling. Even after a week, she had been unable to orgasm. Juan was diligent but Nina grew frustrated with the desire that built up inside her. It made her think of how they used to race uphill to the waterfall, how the climb made her heart pound so hard it drowned out the birds. They didn’t slow down as they reached the rock face from which they leapt. They flew into the wind, and the blue of water and sky bled into each other. But there was never any anxiety. Gravity would not let them down.

Nina was sure an orgasm would feel like this. She wondered if there was something wrong with her. After seven days, her feet still clung stubbornly to earth.

Standard