writings about
walking around
the prom
moving forward
title: sometimes two decades is the difference between living a cliche teen fantasy and
recognizing mutual trauma

I didn't want to, and
didn't understand that
you didn't know how to be
in a relationship --
that wasn't sexual.

I said "no" for months.
One night you wouldn't stop
trying to mount me,
until I called you on it.
You went to bed frustrated.

After weeks? months? of you
slowly and steadily chipping away
at it, my resolve crumbled.
I submitted to you.

Only that one thing changed
but it immediately became the biggest thing
between us.

You gave me license
to take license with you.
To my shame I took you
up on it
over and over.

You'd ask, "What do you want to do?"
"Make out?" That was my euphemism.
I couldn't even bring myself
to say the words.
After you'd had me it was always my suggestion.

I never wanted this for us,
to become such a couple cliche:
I, the concupiscent aggressor;
you, indifferent but consenting.
It was like we didn't know how else to be.

Your apparent indifference would vanish, though.
in coital flagrante delicto, you'd cry,
"Fuck me! Fuck me harder!"
I complied with pleasure.
I did not think to question whether
your orders were sincere expressions of desire
or if you thought this was the way it was done --
what you were supposed to say.

I was new to all of it and you were experienced
and I did not question the shape or the weight of that experience.
You'd cry, "Yes!", and I felt accomplished.
You'd cry, and I didn't think to question whether
your tears were orgasmic release or resurfacing trauma.

You didn't know how to be in a relationship that wasn't sexual
and I didn't know how to be in one that was.
Only years later do I start to understand
how we wounded and re-wounded each otherĀ in our ignorance.
stupid boy, 11/28/21

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