I think, at this junction,
the best I can do is
piss out my libido
and get the hell out
of here. but I don't.
I wait until her door opens to
give up my faux-relief.
I go with her to the sink.
she watches me wash my hands.
I use more soap than usual.
she sucks in her stomach
and pushes her breath against
her chest. I can tell.
making conversation and
subsequent sexual advances
is not as simple as porn
makes it out to be.
she closes her eyes and rubs off
the dark ink. the residue sticks
to her fingertips. I’m still drying my hands.
I think about the young man.
I speculate over whether he returned
to the self-help aisle, or if he helped
I linger there, at the sink, touching
each facial feature to justify my
loitering. I hold my ring finger
at the corner of my mouth.
I used to like my lips.
sometimes I'd push them out
to look like I was always kissing.
now I part them slightly,
top teeth emerging timidly,
to offer a slightly mystified,
slightly hungry expression,
left open with infinite sexual appetite.
but I’ve become uglier and don’t want her
to know. I sigh by accident.
she turns to me, shocked by a sound
in such stifling silence.
I feel the uncomfortable sensation of
my eyeballs pushing themselves
towards her. I look at me again, then
her, then me. she’s still looking at me.
she’s still looking at me.
something must be growing from out
my cheeks. a crowd of pimples or
a city of unusual hair or
a tattoo of leftover sauce or
a stamp of black and blue or or
else other than
beauty. I feel like I’m naked.
“can I help you?” I bitch.
she turns away with a scowl.
“sorry,” she groans,“I just
really like that skirt.”
she smooths down her dress over
her ass and smirks. suddenly
the tension transcends to
friction. I part my lips slightly.
“thanks.” I don’t sound grateful.
she probably didn’t mean it.
she probably didn’t mean any
I should leave now, I think.
she’s fixing her hair. she
breathes out. she sounds grateful.
I can’t help but see her
breathing heavy against the bathroom wall
while I pass my tongue down her neck.
my mouth feels dry and empty.
I gulp but not because I’m nervous.
I am nervous but I don’t want her
to know. but now she thinks I’m
nervous because I gulped.
I start to depart. my skirt
swishes with my speed and
brushes her backside.
“goodbye,” she says.
“bye,” I say, and go for the door, trying to
think about books. scholarly things. intellectualism.
I should go to the self-help aisle.
there is something there that I need.
and I’m never done with the kama sutra,
though that’s not something you can
help on your own.
I’ve seen the positions a hundred times
now. they require too much focus and
balance. both of you must be strong enough
to keep each other up.
and all the tension
could slip from under your feet.
and who knows where you go from there.
you might be better off
now the sad thing is,
while walking through
the bathroom of a
used book store,
my hand is still wet from washing. I used
too much soap. it slides over the door handle.
she is leaving now too and I’m here
having trouble opening a door.....
I almost ask for help.