Homeless for the Holidays: New York City’s Homeless LGBT Youth
Executive Director, Ali Forney Center
Published in the Huffington post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-siciliano/homeless-gay-youth_b_1158040.html?ref=gay-voices#s555253&title=Envy
You weren’t born to be abandoned
You weren’t born to be forsaken
You were born to be loved
You were born to be loved
Over the past few weeks I have been meeting with homeless LGBT youth. Each young person was, at the time I met with and photographed them, struggling to survive out on the streets as they waited for one of the few youth shelter beds in New York City to open up to them.
Their stories do not fit in the traditional narratives of the holiday season. No warm family gatherings for these kids. No presents, no feasts. No “sleeping in heavenly peace.” Many have been cast out of their homes, driven out by homophobia. Made to know that being LGBT makes them unlovable in the eyes of their families. Made to know that being gay made them disposable.
Nor do their stories conform to the traditional narrative of “coming out” that the LGBT community likes to tell. Coming out for these kids was not primarily experienced as liberating and freeing, nor was it experienced as finding acceptance in the broader LGBT community. For these kids, coming out meant being driven from their homes, denied love, denied all economic support, made to suffer utter destitution. And, shamefully, despite the numbers of homeless LGBT youth across the nation reaching epidemic proportions, their plight has not been at the forefront of the attention of the LGBT community.
And their stories certainly belie the notion that the citizens of our city, state, and nation can find some safety net to protect them. I noted with sorrow that, as I was photographing these abandoned children on the piers and streets along the far West Side of Manhattan, I could often gaze upon the Statue of Liberty downriver, with its promise:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Alas, there has been little political will to protect these kids. In New York City there are merely 250 youth shelter beds funded by the city and state, though there are 3,800 homeless kids, 40 percent of whom are LGBT. Both Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg have sent the distressing message that these kids do not have any right to be sheltered, with the governor having cut New York State support for youth shelter beds by 50 percent in the last year, and the mayor having repeatedly attempted to cut youth shelter funds in half, as well. How fitting that these kids, whose desperate conditions speak so profoundly of unjust economic priorities, so frequently found refuge with the Occupy Wall Street movement when they could not find a shelter bed.
To be a homeless LGBT youth in New York City means battling the cold, desperate to find somewhere warm and dry at night, knowing it would be a catastrophe if your shoes and clothes get wet. It means being exhausted, suffering chronic sleep deprivation as you try with little success to rest on the subways and train stations and on the streets. It means being terrified, afraid that the police will kick you out of the subway cars and train stations, afraid of violence when you have to sell your body, afraid that you will be beaten or robbed while trying to sleep on park benches or under bridges. To be a homeless LGBT youth in New York City all to frequently means being hungry, forsaken, alone, brutalized.
Is there a more terrible expression of homophobia in our times than tens of thousands of teens being cast out of their homes and made homeless in our streets? How horrible it is that kids are made to experience such brutal abuse, just for being who they are? I believe that these youths are, without ever intending to be, unsung heroes of the LGBT movement. They are heroic because of the terrible price they pay for their honesty.
I thank all of the youths who told me their stories, and allowed me to look into their eyes and photograph them. It was courageous of them to do so — for many teens being abandoned by their family and becoming homeless is experienced as humiliating and shameful, something you don’t want people to know. I hope that we will care enough to listen to the devastating stories these kids have to tell. I hope that we will have the courage look into their hurt eyes. I hope that by doing so, we can find the compassion and resolve to protect them.
Every young person deserves to be loved. If so many LGBT youths are denied love by their families, then the LGBT community needs to give them love. We need to assert their human worth and value, despite actions by their families and their government that speak to the contrary. We cannot allow them to be left to fend for themselves in the cold.
Single, Lesbian and Pregnant ~ Huffington Post Article by Stacyann Chin
Everyone in my building knows I’m a dyke: largely because I have lived in the same Brooklyn building for more than a decade. In that time I have been the odd girl with the wild hair, the barefoot woman comparing mangoes and the flesh of a woman on Broadway, the quirky lesbian who changes girlfriends every two years or so, and finally, I thought, established homosexual neighbor, part of eclectic landscape, known, tolerated, even accepted. Over time, I have become a fixture in this big old community that is quickly suffering the ravages of gentrification. Old women from the Caribbean are used to my flirting with them on the elevator; telling them they are not allowed to look this fly on such a nice summer day, “Don’t you know lesbians live in the building, Mrs. Johnson?” They usually blush, and beam, and tell me I should behave, “Don’t you see I’m too old for anybody (man or woman) to look at me dat way, child.”
The Black boys who grew up on the block are respectful. Their eyes may light up and ogle the gorgeous women who come in and out of the multicolored apartment on the 4th floor, but they are always careful of what they say out loud. They tell me how much they like the view, but assure me they don’t have sticky fingers. The old men, are reserved, but polite. The plethora of younger, middle-class, Asian, queer identified hipster folks, who pay way too much for these under-serviced apartments wave and smile and tell me how pleased they are to be living in a building that already has an LGBT person. The new White residents, complete with alabaster skin, blond hair and designers dogs confess quietly in the foyer that they’ve read my book, or seen one of my shows. Friends in the building tell me of the gossip they’ve heard about the kooky Jamaican girl in the lime green cargo pants who only dates women. In a pleasant sort of way, I thought myself done with coming out, especially inside my own communities.
Then I got a baby bump, and promptly perplexed my collection of very diverse friends, neighbors and acquaintances.
The moment I began to show people started doing under-cover double takes, especially in the elevator. The building is old, so the ride up is very, very slow. People sort of talk normally to me, but they no longer look in my face, or at my boobs. They stare straight ahead and glance sideways at my protruding stomach every ten seconds or so. Not one person has taken the plunge and asked outright if I was pregnant. Not even when I have been sick, and spitting up in Ziploc bags, did anyone query why I was hurling into a plastic bag two minutes before I got into my apartment. People just talked about the weather, or the economy, or the fact that the new white people are complaining that the heat in the building is too high and now management has turned down the heat and the rest of us Black folk are freezing.
Finally I got tired of the weird glances and started explaining, unasked, that I was 4 months pregnant, or 5 months along, or expecting a baby in January, and that I am on bed rest and that I have been vomiting for the entire 7 months I have been knocked up. People try to hide how surprised they are. I can see them swallow the questions and blink back how confused they feel. I almost enjoy seeing them journey from “Aren’t you a lesbian?” to “Are you going with men now?” to “Aww, shizzle, I can’t ask her any of those questions so I might as well smile and nod.”
One woman I told shrieked, in an eerily squeaky voice, “Lord Jesus! I dunno why this elevator smelling so stuffy these days. I think I go make a complaint to management about it today.” Then she told me she liked my shoes and hastily exited the lift.
The silence is immediate when I happen upon a group of tenants gathered in the lobby. Everyone nods and waves and watches as I slowly waddle my way to the car parked on the street out front.
Most of the other LGBT faces offer up congratulations, until they find out I’m doing it without a partner or co-parent. Lips are pursed. Sighs are delivered. And then silence ensues. They don’t approve. Some of the braver ones go on to say, “Well, I would never choose to do it that way — not that I think anything is wrong with it. It just doesn’t seem right to me. But I suppose if you believe you can do it…” That long pause is usually followed with questions about why I didn’t adopt. Apparently, single parenthood is okay for kids without anyone, but somehow unacceptable as a biological choice.
Some people are less tongue-tied than my immediate neighbors. They just blurt out whatever comes to mind. “Shoot, Staceyann! I thought you was a lesbian! How dat happened?”
Straight men (especially if they are religious or of color) tend to be very offended, or very proud. “I don’t see why you need to have children by a man if you don’t want us that way. I believe you give up the right to have children if you don’t want to go with a man. You tricked some poor man into thinking you straight, didn’t you?” Or, “I knew it! I knew you would cross back over! You too sexy to be a lesbian! I mean, look at your breasts! And your shape! I knew you would find a man to turn you normal!”
Sometimes I walk away. But I really want to punch them, and stomp on them and tell them how bigoted they are. More often than not I say, in a calm voice, that I paid to have myself artificially inseminated at a fertility clinic. When I am feeling confrontational, I tell them I bought the sperm from a homeless man who needed money for his girlfriend’s third abortion. This usually sends them into cardiac arrest, which renders them silent just long enough for me to escape. Or it makes them pop a religious vein and spew a series of even more ignorant responses, about the unnaturalness of artificial methods of reproduction, how God did not intend that children be made in test tubes.
Straight women look at me with a combination of pity and anger. Many of them haven’t found Mr. Right yet, and the biological clock is also tick-tick-ticking away for them. They want children, but so many are unable to shake how they were raised to make the choice to have a child on their own. To them it’s a failure to concede the hunt for a good husband. They usually make comments like, “I’m not sure children were meant to be raised without both parents. I mean, if something happens, like say, a parent dies or the father leaves and decides not to be there for the child, well, that’s different. That’s playing the hand you were dealt. But to intentionally rob a child of a father… I just don’t know that that is a good thing.”
I even had one woman tell me that the IVF is why I am having all these problems with my pregnancy. That God must not be pleased with the artificial seed growing inside me. She went as far as to suggest the child could have birth defects and learning problems and gender confusion because I did not lay with a man as God has decreed for women to do.
It took me about ten seconds to restrain myself, to decide not to slap this person in the face for wishing ill on the child I already adore more than I have ever adored anyone. I quickly remind myself that a physical altercation with this nitwit would only further stress my already taxed body. I wish I could explain to every idiot who says some stupid crap like that, how proud I am of my choice to become pregnant. I wish I could show them how it has changed me, made me more of everything, more of myself. I am thinking of getting cards printed, with a prepared rant of some kind, complete with choice cuss words, to hand out when folks get ahead of themselves.
It’s a veritable minefield just walking outside.
I am on bed rest, and don’t get out that often, so it’s always a shock to me, to have folks respond so strongly to my pregnancy. And now that my belly is miles ahead of the rest of me everybody knows on sight about my condition, which means I have no control over people’s reactions. Old women smile and ask how far along I am. Touchy-feely, granola types touch my belly uninvited and offer to give me reiki to open some chakra or other. Strangers assume me heterosexual and ask me about my husband, or “the father.” They are quite confused when I say I used a donor, that this kid does not have a father. Even in my obstetrician’s office I have to constantly correct the nurses who insist on calling me, Mrs. Chin. One day I got so tired of it that I sat up in my chair, and from the back of the room I shouted, “Nurse, I have told you a hundred times. I am not married. I am a single lesbian who got pregnant by artificial insemination. I don’t have a husband. I don’t have a boyfriend. I don’t even have a girlfriend. I’m doing this solo, so I’m definitely not a Mrs. anything. So could you please remember to say Ms. Chin?”
She mumbled an apology and handed me my receipt. As I walked back to my chair I reveled in the discomfort of the “legitimately pregnant” heterosexual women squirming in their chairs and avoiding my eyes. Later that day I got an email from a woman thanking me for speaking out. She is 44 years old, a lesbian and she did an IVF pregnancy. She said she could never be that out about her process, but that it made her feel visible to hear me articulate it in that space, with such pride. Her note brought home the irony of me assuming everyone in that waiting room heterosexual while I was protesting others doing the same to me.
But the coming out process continues. In ways I never imagined. Mid-examination, medical personnel will ask if daddy and I have been abstaining as is recommended for women who are placenta previa. The forms in the hospitals all require father’s name and mother’s name, never just a partner. They suggest you ask him to do this, or include him in that, or talk to him about something or the other. Friends and family members speak of my donor as the baby’s father, or the baby-daddy. There is no room for the woman who has decided to do this alone. The registries in the three places I am registered, buybuybaby.com, target.com, and babiesrus.com, all have advice for what to do with your partner as you prepare for “the shared joy of your baby’s birth.”
I find myself saying, over and over again, “No. I’m lesbian, so I don’t have a male partner. And yes, I’m single, so I will be doing this alone. And I must point out that ‘alone’ does not mean I don’t have help. I expect my vast village of friends to be a part of our lives. But there is no father, no partner, no husband, no lover. Legal responsibilities are solely mine.” Everyday, I find myself needing to affirm that this was a willing choice, that though I may have moments of doubt or loneliness, I’m largely at peace with my path. I have to assure all sorts of people that this baby is wanted, and loved and will be amply provided for with respect to diapers, and discipline and encouragement and the space to be whatever he or she can be in our not-so-traditional family.
Because difficult or not, shared joy or sweet sorrow in solitude, I am awaiting his arrival, preparing for her presence, knowing with everything in me, how proud I am, how lucky I am, to be a single, Black, self-employed, radical, progressive, lesbian artist who is 31 weeks pregnant with a child she has wanted for more than a decade. That miracle is in itself a thing to celebrate, even if the experience has sent me back, reeling, to traverse the coming out process yet another time.
Working the Double Shift ~ By EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL
I’ve been looking into creative-writing jobs. I’ve done some research -not enough, but I’m getting there. I came across the article below. I know a lot of us -writers- dream about pursuing our passion full-time, however, after reading this essay I wonder if that’s whats best for you as a writer. What experiences would you draw upon, if you’re out of the labor force?
Most novelists have day jobs, even the published ones whose books get good reviews. Writing is my second career, and one of the very few things that it has in common with my first career—contemporary dance—is the necessity of maintaining secondary employment. I’ve been supporting myself since I was eighteen years old: I’ve made sandwiches and cocktails and uncountable lattés, put price stickers on wine glasses, supervised the unloading of trucks at 7am on Montreal winter mornings, sold everything from clothing to furniture to vases in three cities, run errands for architects, scheduled meetings, designed and coded websites, written reports and managed offices; all the strangely varied occupations that a person accumulates when the primary objective is not to establish a career, per se, but just to pay the rent while they’re working on a novel.
Some of these jobs have been quite pleasant, and it’s nice to able to afford rent and groceries; but the phrase “day job,” of course, implies that one’s passions lie elsewhere.
Striking a balance between writing literary fiction and paying the rent is a constant struggle, and I thought it might be interesting to speak with other writers about it. I approached two novelists who I’m friendly with, Elise Blackwell and Jason Quinn Malott, and they very graciously agreed to talk about their experiences with work for this piece. (I know them in part because we’re all published by Unbridled Books: Elise’s fourth novel, An Unfinished Score, is forthcoming this spring, and Jason’s debut, The Evolution of Shadows, was just published this month.) Hardly a large sample size, but I was interested in getting the perspectives of other writers; I wanted to know if they experienced their day jobs as an impediment, as I generally have, or if they’ve managed to find jobs that have fueled their writing.
Work has most often been an impediment to my writing for the simple reason that it usurps time, but some jobs in my life have been helped by getting me out in the world during periods of introversion, requiring me to interact with—and in some cases know well—people I wouldn’t have added to my life on my own. The best jobs for my writing have been the more social ones (bartending or working in a store) or ones in which I learned a great deal (translating or writing about scholarship). Yet office work and even professional writing/journalism can be deadly, using up a writer’s energy with similar but less creative tasks. It’s hard to stare at a computer screen for 8 or 9 hours and then go home and compose on computer (which is how I mostly write). Perhaps the best job for a writer involves outdoor physical labor with some social interaction: gardening.
My experience has dovetailed with Elise’s to some extent: I think the jobs I’ve liked best have been the ones that had absolutely nothing to do with writing, or with staring at computer screens. In other words, the menial labor: unloading trucks at 7am, unpacking and shelving boxes of merchandise in retail stock rooms, putting price stickers on martini glasses all day. Meditative, repetitive tasks performed in the company of pleasant coworkers; jobs that leave enough of my brain free that I can think all day about the book I’m writing.
Jason had the opposite preference. “The best jobs for me,” he wrote, “have something in common with writing full-time: self-discipline and inner motivation.”
He went on to make an excellent point:
[An] element to the way we all think about the conflict between a day job and writing full-time is that even us writers sometimes fall into the fallacy of thinking of writing as a romantic hobby. A hobby isn’t a job, it’s not work – it’s “recreation.” This is why when we say, “I’m going to quit my job and write full-time,” it sounds so romantic and idyllic. It carries images of getting out of bed late, drinking large mugs of tea or coffee, sitting at a desk in your pj’s, staring at the trees through the window, and playing with your muse… But if we match the language to the reality, the phrase would actually read this way:
“I’m going to quit working and work full-time.”
That doesn’t sound romantic at all does it? And, if you talk to full-time, un-famous writers they’ll confirm just how unromantic writing full-time is.
He’s right, of course. Writing is hard labor, and there’s nothing romantic about it.
At a dinner some months ago, I found myself discussing the problem of earning a living with a couple of other writers. One of them—a mystery writer who writes full time—said something that surprised me: when he wrote his fiction, he said, he felt that he was drawing on experiences that he’d had before he’d quit his day job thirty-five years earlier.
There was a note of wistfulness in his voice that struck me. My sense was that his life as a writer was somewhat isolated. It was interesting to think of work as something that might help one’s writing, rather than as an uncomfortable but unavoidable impediment to it. What secret purposes might our day jobs serve, aside from the obvious advantages of being able to put dinner on the table?
Franz Kafka was a bureaucrat, and his professed hatred of his job has been well documented. But what’s more interesting about him, at least to me, was the way he used his job as an alibi.
When he began his career at the Assicurazioni Generali, Kafka worked twelve-hour shifts and found it almost impossible to write. But two years later, after a promotion at the Worker’s Accident Insurance Institute, he was put on a one-shift system that required him to work only from 8:30am to 2:30pm each day. And yet even with that enviable schedule, he somehow managed to avoid writing till 11pm—he frittered away the late afternoon and early evening hours with exercises, lunch, a nap, dinner with his parents, an hour or two or more of writing letters or writing in his diary. In his biography of Kafka, Louis Begley wrote that “[h]aving the Institute and the conditions at his parents’ apartment to blame for the long fallow periods when he couldn’t write gave Kafka cover: it enabled him to preserve some of his self-esteem.”
Awful to not have time to write because of your job. We’ve all been there. But how much worse would it be to have time to write, and yet not be able to? It’s easy to argue that Kafka’s day job was part of what made his writing possible. I suspect that any number of writers depend on their day jobs in this manner, whether we’re conscious of it or not: it’s true that your job prevents you from writing, by virtue of the fact that it takes up your time, but it’s also something to hide behind when the writing isn’t going well.
“I would quit my day job,” Jason Quinn Malott wrote, “if I had the economic security to pay my bills, pay for health insurance, and own a home all while going to work writing novels full-time. But the days of that happening to a literary writer are long gone, if they ever existed at all.”
I don’t think the days of that happening to a literary writer are gone, exactly: I think it’s more a matter of the odds having spectacularly decreased. That is, for all my longing to write full-time, I have every expectation that I’ll need to hold a day job for the duration of my life. I imagine most of my writer friends with will have to work forever too, except for that one guy with the trust fund.
But at the same time, the paradox is that every book we write is a lottery ticket: the strange alchemy that turns a well-written book into a well-written runaway commercial success on the level of Fugitive Pieces or The Lovely Bones—in other words, a book with sales numbers on a scale that might possibly allow a writer to quit a day job—is somewhat mysterious. It might happen to anyone. If there were a formula that explained exactly how one book generates buzz while another slips quickly into obscurity, all our books would be blockbusters.
So we all come home tired from our days at the office, sit down in front of the blinking cursors on our screens, and allow ourselves to daydream for a moment about being struck by commercial lightning: a film deal, a surprise bestseller, a call from the organizer of Oprah’s book club. We’re all perfectly aware that it will likely never happen. We all keep writing anyway.
Day 7 Poem: 911 call from my heart to my brains (30/30 Challenge)~ Alyah Al Aswad
In case of an emergency,
Break the glass with your knuckles and jump head first.
~ A 911 call from my heart to my brains~
This is 911, what is your emergency?
I had thought this over.
Who is this?
I had thought she lacked the human content to electrify the pump.
Oh, fuck, heart.
Give me a break-
dance me into cardiac arrest.
Again? Calm down,
What’s the address?
I’m on edge.
Edge of what?
Edge of Falling.
IQ declining I see.
I meant to wait for a while after the break-up
She does not dance with me drunk, because dancing in pubs
is the equivalent of dog piss.
She does not want to mark me as territory.
Your typical ignorant gibberish,
We had agreed, just sex. You pussy.
Get off that cliff,
I cant deal with you in free-fall again.
Stomach is upset.
So whats up?
This isn’t up to me.
There’s something about the way she holds a cup to her mouth.
I gave you a range of options ~ FB
Fuck Buddy or Friends with Benefits.
I am not your carriage horse. Your two-way murphy blinds
are so manipulative. As as soon as I managed to
get them off. BAM, I’m in…
L-words aren’t welcome,
not now, not ever -
no Like, no “5-letter words that shall not be spelled”
I’d rather be in denial.
Yeah you are, but she is something.
She is dutch fries with lots of mayonnaise during
That spells heart attack to me.
Yea, I do feel attacked right now.
You are one harsh logic-fueled moron machine.
I really dont get how you got yourself here.
You are a hippie, always have been.
I’m the one who ends up regretting the mistakes you make.
You keep being stupid.
My passions got you where you are.
Just chill, THC may help with that.
I think I’m in freefall.
So what do we do.
Follow my beats, homie.
Yeah. I win.
Fuck this place.
Shit, I didnt think about that…
Ah, too late.
Day 7: Writing Prompt
Write for 20 minutes (without editing) in any style using this as your starter: “In the event of an emergency…” Consider writing with humor.
Submissions are accepted!
Day 6 Poem: The Tourist (30/30 Challenge) - Alyah Al Aswad
This city believes in smoke.
Its governors believes in tourists.
I define my mornings by whatever happens over the cup of coffee my mother makes.
An old man sits in his winter underwear on his matchbox balcony
smoking a virgin cigarette as he watches a 2 foot-tall girl in high heels and an ill-matched dress. She reappears from the corner store, bearing a bag of bread and an infant brother.
This is a sight to remember, not to take grey-scale pictures of.
We’ve made evenings out to smell like burnt thorn bushes,
edging into long nights of pulling air from hookahs
and breathing in the last stranger’s breath.
I can comfortably say,
My lungs are the only common ground I’ve got left with my countrymen.
Its what we do,
gay and straight people alike, we sit in cafes and smoke,
together, believe it or not.
Its the one place where gay does not stain.
Our honesty at its finest,
is a flower boy begging a foreigner for money,
instead of selling his supply of roses.
Mr. Tourist, are you Jesus?
Mr. White Tourist, in glasses, with a voice full of horse carriages on cobble stone walks ruins my appetite by looking awkward, and reminding me of occupation.
He has a lonesome dinner on a porch overlooking hills mounted by fatigued houses, giving out lots of radio buzz, and infant shrieks.
Its a sight this moron admires.
His eyes skim over the roofs accented with laundry lines and metal water tanks,
its all we got to show for our honest day’s sweat.
Its what this city has to offer you…poverty. Mr. Tourist, is it good enough?
Day 5 Poem: Flowers for Ann - Alyah Al Aswad
The way life ought to be, through the lens of people who decide what life ought to be about,
flowers are apologetic.
It is easy to lose people to guilt. I cannot say I had ever lost anyone other than myself.
It was a waste of my time, it still is.
You are not ready to vase the hypothetical scenario of receiving flowers from me;
Flowers in our circumstances would not be apologetic,
just a funeral bouquet for the “casual” in the thing we got going.
I am not ready to give you any flowers either,
because of my history with flowers.
I had grown wild fields of weeds on my palms because I had touched quite the number of people who needed apologies from quite a number of people.
I do not talk about it, because I do not like to talk about myself.
It makes me seem to have known struggle in my life; except I am privileged,
and my stories are mundane.
For what its worth, I do have a passion for flowers.
Aside from the fact that they remind me of vaginas,
Their stance in beauty in a world so broken by its people consoles me.
Makes me think it is still okay to love,
I mean okay to love regardless of being loved back.
I drive by a flower-shop on my way to your house on those evenings that I do come by.
I never remember to stop,but one day I will,
and when I do, I’ll park my car on the busy highway.
I’ll pick the yellow and purple tulips. I’ll pick violet mesh for my friend-flower-boy to wrap them with.
Once I get to your house; I’ll either have grown the guts to give them to you
or I’ll just leave the freshly picked bouquet in my car, until you ask me about who they’re for;
and then,I’ll either tell you I’m a coward or I’ll be defensive and answer;
they are flowers for Ann.
Day 5: Writing Prompt
Write for 20 minutes in any style using “Flowers for Ann” as the title
Submissions are accepted!
Day 4: Poem - Alyah Al Aswad (30/30 Challenge)
My life is made up of seconds.
In the next second,
I have skin in my ink bottle.
A woman who tastes like a gulp of dim
lays on my sheets, like a moist verb,
asking to be embraced by my mouth and nouned.
Her thighs are open for expression.
Their silhouettes project onto my blinds circling vicariously with second-hands
We have a dialogue in one syllable moans.
I believe in Polaroid orgasms,
and the hammer of heartbeats through my ribcage
with the force to drive a nail in to hang a portrait.
She moves musically
A quaver in friction.
Her nerves stand on the edge of a plank,
and then she free falls.
I curl into a possessive apostrophe,
and hold her.
Her breath rhymes with my hands,
and then I remember
why I had been wanting to line my bed sheets for weeks.