Guys I’ve Dated

I’ve dated guys whose eyes watered from the burn of undiluted wasabi

Thinking they were Japanese cuisine purists, they were only fooling themselves

He judged others for cutting off their chi from wearing their socks too tight while his own panties were in a bunch

He took me to a restaurant where the jazz was so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves

He didn’t intend to listen to me anyway, I found out later that night

I’ve dated guys I could only wash down with an unhealthy amount of alcohol

Guys who made gourmet meals taste bland with their predatory presence

I’ve dated guys who tried to shame and control me

They must feel so ashamed and out of control themselves

I was never into that scene

I’ve dated guys who believed their suffering was unique, artists who didn’t want to feel understood

I’ve dated guys who made me feel special for a time, until I realized that they only wanted me to make them feel special

They didn’t see me as a person, but a tool to be used, an addiction to leave them unsatisfied

I’ve dated guys who drank too much and called out for me in the middle of the night like a babe to its mother

Like a mother to a babe, I gave them my teat

The narcissistic and manipulative, the accusatory and dramatic

Guys who implied suicide if I ever left their side, yet somehow they are still living

Guys who stalked me and threatened me with their bodies

I prayed for boundaries

My man isn’t like those other guys

But he wants to know how many, and why

All I can do is bask in relief and sigh

Grateful, deeply grateful

She Prepared Her Body for Him

She prepared her body for him
She washed every curve and crevice of her strong, supple body with rose-scented soap
She shaved her armpits, legs and groin, striving to get as close a shave as possible, for his pleasure
She rubbed lotion into her skin
She clipped her nails and filed off the rough edges
She plucked her eyebrows though it stung
She combed her hair and smoothed the frizz away with oil, knowing he would tie knots into her hair as he ravaged her body, and he did
They always do

She prepared her body for him
Though he was undeserving
Though he was reckless
She prepared her body for him
In every way she could think of
Except the way that mattered

She did not prepare her body with birth control,
No form of protection or contraception
She packed an overnight bag with toiletries and delicacies,
But no condoms, pills, rings, sponges, diaphragms, nothing
She prioritized pleasing him
Over protecting her body, her health, her future

She offered her body like a sacrificial lamb, but to an unholy god
He feasted on her, never stopping to consider how he might damage her body, her health or her future
He was there to wine and dine her, and without asking, sixty-nine her
But he was not there to buy the morning-after pill, the pregnancy test, the prenatal vitamins, the morning-sickness supplements which were powerless against her incapacitating nausea, her violent vomiting

He was not there to hold her her back, he was not there to carry out her responsibilities when she was fatigued beyond words.
He was not there when she realized that the pregnancy was interfering with her life in ways that she could not justify,
Like her career for which she had worked so hard for so many years,
inhibiting her ability to care for the lives which she held in her hands

Her integrity evaporated quickly at the thought of telling her loved ones that she had been impregnated by a man she barely knew, by a man who the more she got to know, she liked less and less- a man who did not listen to her, who did not love her the way she needed to be loved. A man who the thought of raising a child with seemed a terrible notion, as he could not take care of himself, let alone anyone else. All of these things about him she learned after being impregnated by him, after being pressured and coerced by him

He was not there as she prepared her body for an abortion
She washed it with rose soap, she clipped her nails
He was not there when she felt the sharp pain of having the dear tiny life extracted out of her
He was not there to share in her lingering sadness
But she was there for herself
And her care team was there by her side, to talk her through every step of her abortion, to treat her with integrity, without judgement, to restore her body, her health, her future and her freedom

She prepares her body for herself now
She keeps it strong and supple
She honors her body by making healthy choices
She acts in ways which serve her
She was fortunate to have access to an abortion which was safe and legal
She wants other women to feel fortunate too
To have a safety net, to have as many second chances as they need
To not have their lives train-wrecked by some guy
Thanks to her abortion provider, she now she has an IUD which provides her long-acting reversible birth control which she tolerates well
She has never felt more empowered
She is eternally grateful for the compassionate care she received
She wishes that all beings, everywhere, may be happy, healthy and free

Absinthe and Abstinence

Instead of drinking absinthe

I wish I’d practiced abstinence

Absinthe passed through my lips

You followed suit, more than just the tip

I was butter and you were the knife

Wish I could take back that night

Spread out like jam on toast

On a Manhattan mattress, we did the most

It got so hot, we were the roast

But I was the one who got burned

Absinthe, you brought on sweat, blood and tears

Abstinence, you would have spared me much fear

Absinthe, why’d you help me undress?

Abstinence, you would have prevented stress

Absinthe, you never delivered that green fairy

Abstinence, your fruit is sweeter than the ripest berry

Absinthe, under your tutelage I’ve grown wary

Now I practice abstinence

From every Tom, Dick and Harry

and all the other men who didn’t have my best interest at heart-

You protested loudly when I told you we had to part.

You don’t have to understand

You just have to know that you’re not my man.


Where do ideas come from?
When I get inspired it feels like an itch
Irresistible to scratch but if I don’t promptly act…

Where do ideas go?
Sometimes I get a flash of what appear to be                                                                 profound, brilliant, and wildly creative thoughts                                                                       Just as quickly,  they vanish into thin air
Faster than ice evaporates on a hot day                                                                                 Before I can write them down, they’ve already gone on their way

My brain is beaten down by sleep deprivation and stress
So it makes sense
That it would hold thoughts
As efficiently as a sieve holds water

Still I wonder
Where do ideas come from,
And where do they go?
As they disappear through the door of my conscious mind,
I want to say to them, ‘Thank you, come again’

Love and Ice Cream

Love and ice cream
Are my slippery slopes,
My legal dope
I use them in plain sight
To abuse my body day and night

Too many years
I’ve caught myself in the cycle
Of getting high every time I start to withdraw;
I let into my life another bowl,
another boo, even worse than the one before
The novelty wore off long ago
And I’ve seen the pattern;
I know where it is gonna go
It always ends in regret

Today I was hot and thirsty
For that cool creamy sweet treat
With chocolate chunks for me to eat
It was on sale and high in quality
So I loaded up my shopping cart,
imagining the pleasure awaiting me

Then I remembered
How bad I always feel afterward
How out of control, how unwise
I’ve given in to temptation too many times
And paid too heavy a price

So I put the four pints back on the shelf
Let them go home with somebody else
Victory was mine at last
At least for today

Then I got home and considered writing to an ex
An ex who is still sort of a friend                                                                                                             I love them dearly
But slow down, it’s a dangerous bend
They treated me unhealthily
Why would I expect anything different this time?

Feeding my addiction
Would bring me a quick, cheap high
Although I desire them so
Like ice cream on a hot summer’s day
If I over-indulged, the disappointment in myself
Would be here to stay

I’m only human
I have to eat and to love
But knowing how easily
I fall hard where others only stumble
It is worth it for me to mindfully look where I’m walking on the rocky road
So that I can stand tall when it rumbles

Worse Things

Sometimes when I drink alone-
One cold beer on a hot summer’s night,
At the end of a long day,
to wash lingering anxiety away
I wonder if I am an alcoholic
But then I think
There are worse things to be

Like those who destroy the earth
To feed their insatiable greed

Like pedophiles and rapists
Serial killers
Users and abusers of women and children

The dramatic and manipulative
Who are unnecessarily cruel to their loved ones

Those who blame everyone but themselves for their own egregious behavior
Instead of looking within

The judgemental and cold-hearted
Who raise their voice when they should be listening