What’s my age again?

Me, at 13.

Me, at 13.

This week, I am 13.

I am 13 because that is the age my therapist ordered me to be.

Remember 13? When crushes felt like they were literally squeezing your insides. When the first touch of skin on skin — even holding hands — sent electric chills through your body. When a good makeout sesh was the height of sexual excitement.

At 13, there was possibility.

When I was 13, that’s when all those good things stopped, and shame entered the equation.

When I was 13, I had my first trauma. After that, everything got messy.

My therapist was intrigued but not surprised when I told her that when I cheated, I set a firm line with my co-conspirators that mirrors exactly the first sexual boundary of mine that was ever crossed: My pants stay on, and your hands stay out of them.

The kissing, the hand-holding, the sexting, the feeling up — all these things are cheating. As my therapist said, “The affair started before you even touched.” But I have always been able to commit these acts with relatively little remorse. It is only when I violate my own rule (or have it broken for me) that the guilt kicks in.

That invisible boundary exists even in my incredibly loving and stable relationship. I’m generally happy as a clam (pun intended) to round bases 1 and 2, but anything beyond that, and I have to work really hard (pun also intended) to stay present, and even harder to, ahem, get there.

It’s been 13 years since that night at my friend’s house, but the results are often still the same: An arbitrary line of sexual conduct is crossed, and I freeze up.

Apparently, I’m still 13. Sexually.

Because that’s when I last felt 100% safe and 100% excited about sex. The last time I still had 100% ownership of my own body.

And so I seek out that 13-year-old feeling of novelty. I go for the forbidden to give me butterflies in my stomach. In short, THIS is why I cheat. At least in part.

Another part? My brain is trying to heal that original trauma. At least, according to my therapist.

There is a psychological term for this, called reenactment. (Also repetition compulsion).  It is very common among survivors of trauma, whatever that trauma was. Essentially, people place themselves — consciously or unconsciously — in situations similar to those in which the trauma occurred, sometimes many times, in the (typically subconscious) hopes of being able to “resolve” that incident: In other words, to get a different outcome, one in which they are in control and the trauma does not happen.

So this, too, is why I cheat.

Whenever I would get myself into a situation where there was potential to stray, I would tell myself, ‘This time will be different. This time, I’ll just not do it.’

I would set benchmarks of behavior for myself, as described above.

“This time, we’ll only hug.”

“This time, we’ll only kiss on the lips.”

“This time, we’ll only make out.”

But every time, I would go past that. Every time.

At the very moment that self-imposed rule was flouted, the emotional effect is immediate and very, very familiar. Excitement turns to remorse, sexiness to shame, confidence to disgust.

Just like when I was 13.

I would say that my therapist has taxed me with reliving this trauma, but the truth is, I have relived it a million times. I have been living it, folding the shame associated with abuse into the whole of my sexuality.

MeNMrTSo the only difference in reliving it now is that I have a trained professional and a loving boyfriend at my side to help me: She makes sure I don’t freak out during therapy, and he makes sexy time fun by respecting me when I say no, reminding me that I’m safe and loved, and by generally being up (or down) for anything I need. Which this week means pretending we’re 13 again.

Remember 13? When crushes felt like they were literally squeezing your insides. When the first touch of skin on skin — even holding hands — sent electric chills through your body. When a good makeout sesh was the height of sexual excitement. When the threat (or promise) of sex wasn’t a dark cloud of expectation hanging over your heads, but an exotic location to be visited someday.

13? It’s looking better all the time.

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#FierceFriday

Combo

This is a photo of me and my Chive twin. I took a picture of myself (left) after finding this one (right) online. I thought the girl looked just like me. If I didn’t have a longstanding personal rule against duck lip selfies, I may have thought that girl was me. I immediately knew I had to recreate the outfit, the pose, the duck lips, and send it to the Chive. I needed to meet my twin, if only on social media.

But this picture has never seen the light of day. Because after I took it, I realized we couldn’t look more different. She’s a size 0, easy. I’m a 6 on a good day, a 4 whenever I buy Calvin Klein. (As often as I can, because, hello, I fit into a size 4.) My hand’s all wonky, my duck face is more like a ‘Holy shit, was that a bug in my drink?’ face, and her cleavage is seriously outclassing mine.

I actually photoshopped myself thinner in the hopes of ‘salvaging’ it and therefore my epic post.

I’m sharing it now, unedited, not to draw attention to the sameness of the images, or to their differences. I’m sharing it because a few days ago, I saw this video:

For those of you who didn’t watch this, first off, I’m going to tell you that you suck. Watch the damn video! Secondly, I’m going to share these little tidbits from the talk with you:

“When it comes to exams, if you don’t think you look good enough, specifically if you don’t think you are thin enough, you will score a lower grade point average than your peers who are not concerned with this.”

“Women who think they’re overweight — again, regardless of whether they are or are not — have higher rates of absenteeism (at work). Seventeen percent of women would not show up to a job interview on a day when they weren’t feeling confident about the way that they look.”  (Meaghan Ramsey, Dove Self-Esteem Project, #KissTheMirror)

I’ve never missed a day of work or a job interview because I didn’t like my hair that day, but I have stayed home from a party. I have skipped out on meeting up with friends; canceled a date; sat in the back of the classroom and kept my head down, instead of the front row where I could ask questions if I needed to.

And — perhaps more humorously but ultimately as important — I have not engaged sexually with my boyfriend on days that I feel fat, fugly or otherwise less than appealing. You can laugh if you want, but think for a minute of all the orgasms being missed out on because of hairy legs and armpits, food bellies or missing makeup. And, yes, forgoing potential climax does not cost our economy millions in lost productivity annually, but think about what that implies. If we are so uncomfortable with our own imperfections that we can’t even let ourselves be seen by those closest (literally) to us, how is there hope for us in the wider world?

I’m aware that this isn’t only a female problem, but I do think it is predominately ours. To my gentlemen readers: Ask yourselves, when was the last time you stopped your girlfriend from going down on you because you hadn’t trimmed your pubes in a few days? Or have you ever not gone out because you had a really big breakfast burrito and your T-shirt fit a bit more snugly than usual?

I’ve done both of these things this week.

I’ve also done something most guys would never dream of: Photoshopped pictures of myself before posting them to Facebook. I’ve made my arms thinner. I’ve tucked in my tummy. I’ve trimmed down my luscious bubble butt. I’ve even sculpted my face. If I could with any success, I’d even out my nostrils, which always seem to face at different angles to the camera.

Let me be clear, in case you can’t tell from my photos: I look pretty damn good. I’m in adequately decent shape. I’m average weight for my height; I have nice, clear skin; and that hourglass figure everyone loves. But it doesn’t matter. Because the photos I see online of other “regular” people? They still look thinner, tanner; their nostrils more even.

And it doesn’t occur to my that they might have photoshopped their pictures, too. Or employed another one of my favorite tactics: Selection perfection. In scouring my phone for this post, I couldn’t find a single “bad” photo. Not because I can’t take a crappy picture, but because I immediately delete those not up to snuff. So it continues, the myth of perpetual beauty and casual perfection, a standard we cannot attain but that we never stop trying to reach.

We’re in a selfie arms race. 

But I’m laying down my weapons.

I’m starting #FierceNotFatFridays. Once a week, I’m going to post a photo that I normally wouldn’t. One that I don’t particularly like. One with weird eyes, a double chin, or the noticeable absence of a thigh gap. (Which will be all of them. I have never had, nor will I ever have, a thigh gap. Because I am a real person, not a Barbie.) And I am going to notice the things that actually make me worthwhile as a person.

MeConsider this my first one. In this photo, my hair is fabulous. And now some little girl has my fabulous hair because I am unselfish and giving and not as vain as I could be.

My legs are strong, and they push me to work each day on my bike, which conserves oil that I would use driving, and cuts down on harmful emissions.

My eyes are big, blue and beautiful. But best of all, they see things. They see potential in others, and beauty where others see struggle.

My lips do so many great things. (Keep your BJ jokes to yourself, haters!) They sing. They speak words of encouragement and inspiration to friends. They make jokes. They tell the truth.

Here’s one: When I first conceived this concept,  I was afraid. Scared that by posting unflattering photos, by looking fat or ugly, people would think I was fat or ugly.

But a bad picture doesn’t make me an ugly person, any more than a good one makes me beautiful. A photo is a moment in time, representative of nothing more. It can’t capture what defines me; my actions and attitude toward others. I’m hoping that adding this one more action will help me bit a little bit better of person.

I hope some of you will join me in this. We might not be able to kill the Internet trolls, but we can make it cooler to be confident than cruel. And we can’t force the magazines and advertisers to abandon photoshop, but maybe we can convince regular people (and maybe some celebrities. You hearing this, Beyonce??) that it’s not worth the effort. That thinner thighs don’t make you a better person.

We won’t magically transform the haters into lovers, but we can at least make an effort at loving ourselves a little more.

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Are humans sexual omnivores?

“Our fight is not with each other; our fight is with an outdated, Victorian sense of human sexuality that conflates desire with property rights, generates shame and confusion in place of understanding and empathy.”

A really great TED talk about how agriculture gave rise to sexual monogamy in humans.

Tidbits:

“Human beings are not descended from apes, despite what you may have heard. We are apes. We are more closely related to the chimp and the bonobo than the African elephant is to the Indian elephant. We’re more closely related to chimps and bonobos than chimps and bonobos are related to any other primate – gorillas, orangutans.”

I’m arguing against is the shame that’s associated with desires. It’s the idea that if you love your husband or wife but you still are attracted to other people, there’s something wrong with you, there’s something wrong with your marriage, something wrong with your partner. I think a lot of families are fractured by unrealistic expectations that are based upon this false vision of human sexuality”

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Welcome to the woo woo

*Not my actual therapist.

*Not my actual therapist.

I’m back in therapy.

My therapist — who shall remain nameless until I conclude my sessions with her and can do an honest and complete evaluation — is completely fucking nuts. She’s what I call “hippie dippy.” She’s SO Boulder.

She talks of chakras and Divine Life Activations. She told me she once reversed her own hand injury by focusing all her consciousness on it. She is not just a therapist — she’s an energy healer and spiritual teacher.

Welcome to the woo-woo.

My first session was Friday, after a 10-minute consultation via phone Thursday. We skipped the small talk, the get-to-know-yous. I didn’t tell her about my family, my past relationships, my current Mr. T — none of it. And I have no idea how old she is, where she’s from, if she’s a legal resident, if she’s ever been a member of a cult. You know, the things that matter.

Except they don’t. Not anymore. I’m here to heal. Keep your batshit to yourself, lady. We’re here to deal with my guano.

We started with my goals: Overcome intimacy issues (with platonic friends and in the bedroom); stop cheating; stop thinking about cheating; stop defining myself by my sexuality.

Then we moved on to some, uh, let’s call it creative visualization. There’s me, then there’s “emotional me” and, finally, “traumatized me.” Like some very seriously fucked up version of Barbie dolls. Except that your imaginary conversations (with yourself, as yourself) also involve physical contact and sensations.

“OK, I want you to look at yourself, your emotional self. What does she (you) look like? How is her (your) body language? How does she (you) feel? Is there sensation in her (your) stomach, her (your) throat? Is her (your) heart racing? How is she (you) feeling? OK, I want you (me?)  to take her (your?) hand now.”

It’s like me, talking to me to the second power. “Shay, meet Shay squared. Oh, who’s that cowering in the corner? That’s Shay cubed. You don’t have to talk to her. She’s waaaay scary.”

A note of apology to you, dear reader, for my injection of humor into this discussion. Not because these things aren’t funny; therapy’s often hilarious. But because my humor is meant to deflect. It’s my way of saying, ‘See, I’m still normal! I’m making fun of this whole therapy process, because you might think it’s weird and that I’m weird for doing it.’

Because I make fun of people who talk about energy fields, and getting in touch with their feelings. Because, so often, that stuff and those people seem full of shit. But I am apologetically diving into the woo woo. I’ve tried the other stuff. And I still need help. And I love myself (or will someday) enough to do whatever it takes to get to a good place.

So, yeah, that’s me, sitting in a therapists office, crying my eyes out as I talk to myself in the third person. And maybe, someday, communing with nature and running naked in fields of flowers. Or doing laugh yoga with a group of long-haired, patchouli-smelling weirdos. But you know what? You can laugh, but I. DON’T. GIVE. A. FUCK.

All the fucks I could be giving to you for judging me? I’m keeping them for myself. Because I give a fuck about myself. I give all the fucks. And I will do whatever it fucking takes to make sure I live a happy life. Free of the fucked up-ness that plagued most of my formative years.

Yes, this shit is weird. Yes, it takes a certain suspension of cynicism that, until now, I wasn’t sure I was even capable of. And, yes, I’m still a worshiper at the altars of SCIENCE and FACT and TRUTH. But the fact is, this shit — strange as it may be — is working. And the truth? I’m finally dealing with the truth of who I am and what I’ve been through.

So I’m checking in, before I get too lost in the woo woo. Because the next time you visit this blog, I could well have moved to a commune and changed my name to Heartflow Love Warrior and the domain address to http://www.ThisIsWhyILoveAndEmbraceAllSentientBeings.com. So, you know, heads up.

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Friends, frenemies and forgetness

My friend is in need.

A childhood friend and old boyfriend — the one she dated when we were closest, the one who went on camping trips, birthday bar crawls, game nights — passed away. Heart attack. In his mid-30s.

Roxie* and I are not close right now. In fact, I recently blogged that we didn’t care about each other. But this morning, when I heard the news, I knew that I was wrong.

I do care about her. Because, even though we aren’t speaking; even though our last attempt at reconciliation failed; even though we can both be bitchy and mean and hurtful — I wanted to go to her. I cried for her. And I knew, in my heart, that I still do care for her. That I love her. That we are bonded. Maybe not right now, but at one point, we were. And that’s not something you can just throw away.

400425_2830245602920_1401365422_nWhen you lose someone, you want to be surrounded with people that knew the both of you, that knew the you you were when you were with him. And that’s me for Roxie and Dave.

I’m not good at everyday friendship. I don’t do the weekly phone calls, the daily gossip. I don’t forgive easily, I can hold grudges for longer than the average length of a first marriage, and I never forget when people hurt me.

But this big stuff — that I can do. I can be there. I’ll hold her hand as she cries — or her hair as she pukes after a night of stiff drinking, if that’s what she prefers.

Maybe she won’t want me at all. That would be understandable, given our last two meetings.

If that’s the case, then I will do what a good friend would: Accept it. Love her anyway. Send her all the positive thoughts and vibes I can, but stay away. Because that’s what she needs.

And a good friend will always support you.


To my dear friend, Roxie, who is a shot of tequila: You may not always like how it treats you, (or how you treat it), but you always love it, because it’s awesome. We’ve had some great nights and some really shitty ones. I’m sorry that I let the hangover make me temporarily forget how much I fucking love tequila. I love you, girl.

*Not her real name

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Avoiding potholes in the dark

light-nov-8

 

Sometimes, when I am riding my bike home from work or group at night, my light goes out. I often forget to charge it.

So I ride in the dark.

I find that the trick to not running into something that can throw me off balance is not to look too far ahead, at the illuminated patches of path.

Instead, I look for the darkest spaces, and I avoid them.

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Peace & Peaches

First, a Facebook post:

yogiWE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE. This is me, after SUP yoga this morning. I got home and took my dogs for a walk, still in these clothes. An elderly neighbor decides it is OK to whoop and whistle at me (like, literally, ‘woo-woo’) for the ENTIRE TIME it takes me to walk past his house.
This is not OK.
I walk toward him, dogs in tow. He sees me, gets up and runs inside. He hides behind his screen door. I say to him, “It makes me really uncomfortable when you yell at me. I’m trying to walk my dogs, and I don’t appreciate being yelled at. It’s really inappropriate for you to yell at me like that. I don’t appreciate being harassed. Please stop.”

He shuts the door and disappears inside. I hope he stays in there all day, too afraid to come out, and thinks about what he did.

Thus ensued much support from friends and fellow feminists for my bold stand against creepy neighbors. Even Mr. T got in on the action, telling me that if he had been there, he would have said something — something much less cordial and much more curse-y.  

So I felt pretty good.

Still, I was nervous for a few days, taking care to avoid his corner of the neighborhood. Then I realized if I continued doing that, I would have confronted him for nothing. My victory would be hollow. And so I went. Proudly marching by his yard, I spotted his familiar chair in its spot under the tree.

It was empty.

It remained so for the next few weeks.

This bothered me. I hated thinking that my actions had made him feel the way I felt after our encounter: afraid. If all I accomplished was to cause him to sit, cowering, in  his house, than had I really accomplished anything?

I had to ask myself, and ask those around me: What is the point of confronting harassers? Isn’t it to change a behavior, correct a wrong way of thinking? Can we hope to succeed if we simply transfer the fear from us to our harassers? I don’t think so.

So the other day, I left him this: 

peachesHi. I’m the girl you catcalled the other day. I was walking my dogs and I told you to stop. I noticed I haven’t seen you sitting outside lately. I just wanted you to know that I am not angry with you. If you can stop yelling at me, maybe just smile and wave or say ‘hi’ when you see me, then we are OK. 

— Your neighbor, Shay

 

 

I left them on his empty chair and walked away, too nervous to face him.

The next day, on the way back from walking the dogs, there was. In his chair, talking to the groundskeeper.

I didn’t smile; I didn’t wave. I didn’t acknowledge his presence; nor he mine. But we were there: Out, about and unafraid.

 

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Meeting the parents

Godlooksatheart

“F or the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Mr. T’s dad is in town. He’s staying with us. I picked him up from the airport last Thursday, at seven o’clock in the morning. We went to breakfast. We talked. About religion, family, immigration, careers, kids, his ex-wife, my ex-boyfriend. 

Mr. Capital T, as I’ll call him, is great. Intelligent, thoughtful, a good conversationalist. Fair-minded, artistic, handy, protective. He’s what you’d want your dad to be. But he’s not my dad. So he’s not protecting me. He’s protecting Mr. T. From me, if need be.

“I didn’t think to much of you the first time we came to visit,” he said. Because my ex-boyfriend was there. The Asian. Let’s call him Special K, because nicknames are fun. He had come for a visit, uninvited. He was there one day while Mr. T’s family was.

Mr. T and I weren’t dating then. We’d had sex a couple of times, but Mr. Capital T didn’t know that. He had no reason to think Mr. T and I were anything other than roommates. Which means the “situation” he was disapproving of was the ex-boyfriend of his son’s platonic friend coming for a visit. 

But that doesn’t matter now, apparently. He thinks a great deal more of me after our morning together. Which should be reassuring, I suppose. That, now that he knows more about me, his judgement of me has improved. But I’m not soothed by that. I’m concerned, and more than a little pissed off.

Because now I am in a tenuous spot. My good qualities have outweighed my “bad” ones (having a complicated relationship with an ex-boyfriend, making jokes on Facebook about having to travel to South Dakota on my weekend off to see Mr. T’s family). But the insinuation was there: These things are unacceptable. Right now, things are weighted in your favor, but that can change.

 My parents’ own policy of absolute acceptance annoyed me a great deal. I wanted them to judge, to know when I was being mistreated, and to do something about it. But now, sitting across the table from a protective parent, I miss my mom’s compassion, her deep commitment to finding the good in everyone. 

“I don’t understand why you are letting this get to you,” my mom said when I told her how upset I had been by my conversation with Mr. Capital T. Or some variation thereof. The key words there are ‘I don’t know why.’ Ignoring the subtext that my reaction was unwarranted and therefore not valid, I asked myself, ‘Why?’ 

Why is this bothering me so much? Enough that I had three separate conversations with Mr. T. Enough that I have been avoiding spending time with Mr. Capital T. Enough that I lied and went into work 1 1/2 hours early today. Enough that I wanted, not to go home at the end of a 10-hour workday, but to run to the nearest bar and drink until I blacked out.

Why?

Everyone hates being judged. But I fear it. The anger I feel at those unspoken words from Mr. Capital T (You might not be good enough for my son. I’ll be watching you. And if I think you aren’t, I will tell him. And I will tell you.) — that isn’t anger rooted in pride. It’s anger rooted in shame and deepest insecurity.

I spent my whole life trying to hide what I thought was the worst part of me — my abuse — terrified that it would cause my friends and family to abandon me. I felt alone, isolated, unworthy of the love and affection of “normal” people, ones not painted with the same dirty brush. 

It is the secret fear of every victim of abuse that is was something in themselves — some flaw, some inherent badness — that illicited the terrible treatment they endured. Even it is not our fault (and it isn’t. It isn’t your fault), we are still separate. We are the other. The abused. Marked. Damaged. Unfit to mix with you, the unblemished.

The person I became after the abuse confirmed this. Distrusting, emotionally closed off, incapable of intimacy, oversexed. I became so many things I never wanted to be. A cheater. A liar. A whore. Things you wouldn’t want your son to date. Someone you wouldn’t want him to marry.

I’m not that person anymore, and I’ve fought really hard to get where I am. Yet I realize that I am not this person despite my past, but because of it. My choices and behaviors are not something I want to have to hide or make excuses for. 

But that is what I find myself doing. Desperately hoping Mr. Capital T doesn’t find out the boys and the boozing and the unbelief in God. I am hiding part of myself, yet again, in fear of rejection. And all my hard work, the feelings of finally belonging, has vanished in the space of a weekend.

I might as well be 19 again. Ashamed. Afraid. Unworthy. Because I can’t undo my past. And even though I might have “overcome” it, it is a stain on my permanent record. Something to be used against me if, god forbid, our relationship goes south, the way Mr. Capital T still speaks of his ex-wife. Maybe it’s not reason enough for Mr. T to leave, but it is a whisper in his ear, a reminder that I was damaged before, and must therefore remain so, on some level. 

This might make Mr. Capital T sound like a bad person. He is not, by far. He is kind and thoughtful. I respect the way he struggles with his opinions on things, trying to be as fair-minded as possible. And that is perhaps why I am so upset by this whole ordeal.  I trust his judgement; if he deems me unfit, it must be so.

And it will have confirmed my deepest fear about myself. I am an impostor, only pretending to deserve love and happiness, only playing at being whole. It is a fear, though I know it to be untrue, that I cannot escape. Just like my past.

Mr. T says his father will not judge me. And maybe he won’t. He is a very good person. But he could. He has that power. To weigh the good against the bad. To be skeptical, watchful. To be a concerned parent, like I always wanted. Be careful what you wish for, they say. 

Right now what I wish is what I have always wished for: That the truth could be known and that he would love me anyway. But I can’t take that risk. I have too much to lose. So I will do what I’ve always done, and hide it away.

And maybe that is the real problem here. I am doing what I’ve always done. So maybe I am the same person as I was. And maybe, just maybe, he is right about me. 

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Victory 1

Each week in my support group, we share ‘victories.’

However small, these are things we accomplished by our own volition, things to boost our confidence and self-esteem. Things to feel good about before we dive into things that we generally feel shitty about.

This was mine from two weeks ago.

I was dressed for Bastille Day. Black and white striped T-shirt and a pink skirt I bought in Paris when I was 16 that resembles a ballerina’s tutu. 

I went to the post office to mail my donated hair. There was a man using the self-serve machine to weigh packages and print shipping labels. He did a double take when I walked in.

I ignored him

I crossed to a table opposite him to arrange my things and wait for the machine. But he was no longer using it. He was facing it, turning around to stare at me. He continued staring.

He moved toward me, leaning in and raising and lowering his eyebrows at me with a smirk.

I was fucking furious.

I refuse to be leered at. That’s what this man was doing: leering. And I wasn’t having it.

I turned to him, looking him in the eye. I said, as I would to my dogs if they misbehaved, ‘Stop it!’ My finger pointed accusingly.

And …. he did.

He turned around and walked away, going about his business in the post office. So did everyone else. No one started, no one stared, no one told me I was being unreasonable or bitchy. I felt vindicated, empowered. 

I carry a collapsible police baton in my purse at all times, but I hadn’t needed it. My presence, my power, had been enough. I stopped a creep from creeping.

And it felt damn good.

 

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Further thoughts on forgiveness

“Fuck You Poem #45

Fuck you in slang and conventional English.
Fuck you in lost and neglected lingoes.
Fuck you hungry and sated; faded, pock marked, and defaced.
Fuck you with orange rind, fennel and anchovy paste.
Fuck you with rosemary and thyme, and fried green olives on the side.
Fuck you humidly and icily.
Fuck you farsightedly and blindly.
Fuck you nude and draped in stolen finery.

Fuck you while cells divide wildly and birds trill.
Thank you for barring me from his bedside while he was ill.
Fuck you puce and chartreuse.
Fuck you postmodern and prehistoric.
Fuck you under the influence of opiun, codeine, laudanum, and paregoric.
Fuck every real and imagined country you fancied yourself princess of.
Fuck you on feast days and fast days, below and above.
Fuck you sleepless and shaking for nineteen nights running.
Fuck you ugly and fuck you stunning.

Fuck you shipwrecked on the barren island of your bed.
Fuck you marching in lockstep in the ranks of the dead.
Fuck you at low and high tide.
And fuck you astride
anyone who has the bad luck to fuck you, in dank hallways,
bathrooms, or kitchens.
Fuck you in gasps and whispered benedictions.

And fuck these curses, however heartfelt and true,
that bind me, till I forgive you, to you.” 
― Amy GerstlerGhost Girl

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