It’s not about the sex
until my bra strap is halfway off my shoulder & I
am a beehive pitched sideways,
a field’s worth of buzzing beneath my skin.
You say “we can wait”
& my tongue becomes a tar pit
sticky with all the other times people have told me
for the “right one”
will change things;
like the body is an alarm clock
made to awaken under the proper touch.
It’s not about the sex,
it’s “making love,”
two puzzle pieces interlocking
on a lonely night, it’s
holy, the closest to another person
you can ever be,
it’s every tired argument I’ve had
since middle school,
like god, I just want to kiss a mouth
that isn’t trying to convince me
to go somewhere with it.
And it’s not your fault.
Most days, you are the closest
to quiet I get—a Sunday afternoon
to crawl towards, tuck myself against.
But every boy whose hand I’ve wanted to hold
is a fire I’ve run away from.
I need you to understand this.
I need you to not call me scared
paint me prude
a glass of water that refuses to quench.
Every boy I’ve wanted to love
is a map I’ve torn before arrival
because I worried they’d leave me roadside when I say
this is the farthest I want to go.
This, like tell me we aren’t just sitting at this intersection
hoping the light someday changes from red
This, like poetry and laughter
and road trips and roof-climbing
and all the other ways we keep warm
without the flint of another body.
This, like could you be content with being the parentheses
around this ellipsis of a girl,
like if we hold each other—
only that and nothing else—
could that be okay?
Could I be