Here Are All the Reasons You Should Have Known That I Did Not Really Want to Be Having Sex with You by Maddie Woda

  1. Hazy as a bee, you tell me to lighten up and put your starched hands on my hips to rock us like twin sunken ships, babies in the bathwater, and pray that the lights, sucked of patience by lampshades and films of dust, stay dim.
  2. My cheeks, gelid, a winter’s afternoon, swaddling chattering teeth. It is not cold in this room and I am sweating along my hairline, but my teeth still click like horses’ hooves.
  3. When I say, I can’t tell if the butterflies should hurt like this, like they want a part of me.
  4. The parking ticket, the incessant rain, and the way your dog chews stars out of your new leather boots, like everything alive is brandishing a sword except me, an unsheathed pair of plastic scissors in my pocket with the safety clips still latched.
  5. My youth and your age, sunrise and sandstone, era and epoch; you could see yourself living under the bed in my eyes. How desperately you fought to stay on top and how deeply you wished to be dragged under, young enough still to pull teeth with your boyish charm, now still visibly pulsing, but turning craggy behind your tongue.
  6. My lack of amber armor, virginial both in name in culture. You tell me, you look like a virgin, smell like a virgin, taste like a virgin.
  7. How I said I really do not want to be having sex with you.
Illustration by Dora O'Neill and Karina Blodnieks

Illustration by Dora O'Neill and Karina Blodnieks