Tongues

Supposedly a sword, my tongue
but really not even a dagger
it is best dipping into you
leaking pleasure, spiraling, twisting

so many places intersect:
my benchmark for a taco house
their lengua, soft and rich
gravy on my tongue;

my inability to persevere
in learning another tongue,
the one she desires to hear
soft, romantic, boleros in the air;

my tongue gliding along skin,
intent on tasting arousal;
my tongue tied, abashed
unable to express expansion;

too many tongues, not enough;
words plastering my ears back
and finally, silence, savoring
the end of all speech and sound,
as your tongue meets mine
hearts electrically connected

Afterwards

I can wait to get back to normal
normal was destroying the earth
normal was destroying my soul
in unnoticeable tiny bites

maybe what matters is now
the now of seeing you on screen
the now of knowing I am not alone,
that many beautiful humans care

outside my window in the morning
birds sing on, the same songs
they have had as long as memory
memory being so fickle anyway

soon enough we will again directly
see each other’s eyes and smile
I only hope we remember
the gift of quiet, the sound of breezes

Lockdown

I’m driving to a lover’s house
during what should be a full lockdown
but most people aren’t doing that
 
we are, because to do less
seems irresponsible towards everyone
who might die if they get ill
 
I drop what I was taking her
on the front porch
and retreat halfway down the walk
 
she opens the door and her dog
is going crazy on the other side
wanting to see me and lick my hand
 
all this tears my heart open
not petting him, not holding her
not knowing if we will be ok in 3 months
 
i cry foul curses on all those
who elected our national clown
who could have slowed this and lied
 
i cry foul curses on all those
who have put their personal profit
ahead of the good of the world
 
I am not good enough
to love them or their ilk
 
if there is a Divine
may She have mercy on us all

Heaven is not a place

When I was a pastor and sat with people 
who were actively dying, like Anna,
by her hospital bed, holding her hand,
sometimes they, or their children,
usually a little timidly, as if it was something 
they should know and had forgotten,
would ask me, what is heaven really like?

Now, I don’t personally think
heaven is a place, but a condition of existence
but that’s not the time or place for metaphysics,
so I would tell them, I don’t know,
but I can imagine, because if what I imagine
isn’t true, then it’s not really heaven
and I wouldn’t want to be there;
and I would tell them, you can also imagine
because your heaven will not be the same
as mine, but they will have in common
that all the goodness of our lives
will be distilled into one continuous infinite joy:

everyone I have ever loved will be there
close by, even the ones with whom
it ended badly, or who died before
I could ever tell them I loved them; 
I’ll get to now. My parents will be there,
arms open, and we won’t ever have another fight
and they won’t ever again irritate the holy fuck out of me.
My brother will be there reminding me 
to joke them if they can’t take a fuck.
Every cat I’ve ever known will be rubbing against my legs
my Dittocat climbing my leg as a little kitten
Cringy the stray dog licking my hand,
all my lovers surrounding me in their arms, 
somehow all at once.

I don’t see any reason that we would see God 
any more than we do now and it doesn’t matter
whether there even is  a God or not
if I have all my feline and human loves again:
my heart will have no limit to how big it can be.
I will cry freely every time I see someone I have missed,
it will be a continual rediscovery
of everyone who ever passed through my life
and love will go on and on without end.
I realized, as I was sitting there,
holding Anna’s hand, that sometime 
while I had been talking, she had stopped breathing
a beautiful smile on her face,

I want us all to hold closely, 
in easy times and in difficult ones,
whatever we think about a divine or not,
that there is always a point to love,
always a reason to be profligate with it;
the promise, independent of any doctrine
but rooted in our bones and flesh,
in the knowledge we have 
that we don’t know exactly how we acquired,
is that no love is ever lost or wasted.

Sleepless

I’m lying in bed, naked, alone
sleep is elusive
my lovers come to mind randomly
times we’ve had, times not yet
the sheets are cool against my skin
I used to long for someone, anyone
nights like this, skin to my skin
opening my bed to people unworthy to share it,  violating myself
now I  have more alone nights than not
by choice,  desire subject to self care
remembering the feel of her skin, hers,
the total enclosure and safety of his big spoon
none of this profound, and all of it
more complete than any previous fantasy.

Love is random and inexplicable
I remember looking across the room of her cousins
out in the country, just back
from my first slightly terrifying
horseback ride
our eyes meet and I know that night
we will again be skin together
in the small old bed, in a house
full of history but no ghosts;
or seeing another lover,  our weekly after-class date,
come in my house, throw her arms around my neck
her playfulness, hair thick in my hand;
or memories of other lovers now separate,
joyful and sad simultaneously;
or recalling the feel of his head
stubble under my palm
my arm around our mutual partner
relaxed, joyous,  after a meal out.
Moments slide one into another
nightlight on,  I’m sixty years old
and sometimes still afraid of the dark;
sleep still eludes, but memory sliding past,
scene passing into scene, unwinds
the tension I hadn’t even noticed
and then it is morning
another day I can allow transparency
another day more full than the one just past

 

Her and Him

I was surprised you sucked him, she said
I said, What exactly did you think a threesome
was going to entail?
Well, she said, I guess I thought
that he would fuck me, and you
might watch or help and then you would
fuck me, but I wasn’t expecting you and he…
I said, you know I’m bi.
Yeah, I know, knowing in my head
is a little different from kissing you
and tasting him. Yeah, I said, I guess so.
So now you’re turned off.

 

She pushed me back on the bed
and straddled my face.
Do I seem turned off? I could scent
her arousal and his cum.
I pushed her off and pulled her
to the side of the bed, waist at the edge,
torso on the bed, legs down, knees bent,
ass out. Don’t move, I said.
What happens if I do? I had walked
over to where my toys are hanging
on a hook in the corner
and had some rope in my hand,
and then turned back and took
the small paddle down and tossed it
on the bed. That’s the really stingy one,
I said. You know I don’t do bratty.

 

She didn’t move.

 

I tied her ankles together,
then her wrists, then ran another piece
from her wrists over the other side
to the clip on the far leg of the bed,
across to the leg on her side
and to the ankle tie.
I went toward the door.
Where are you going, she said.
I’m going to clean up and come back
I could hear her calling
as I turned on the shower,
aren’t you going to fuck me?
I ignored her, she asked a few more times
then stopped. I came back in the room
quite a while later, with a glass of wine
and she said, again, aren’t you
going to fuck me?
No I said. You already got that,
twice. But I want you now, she said.
Hold that thought, I said. I lay down on the bed
on the other side, where she couldn’t reach
and checked online, texted another lover for a while,
drank my wine, told her about how it tasted.
She was almost moaning. I said,
your desire makes me happy.
But you still need to learn,
that when you tell me you want to surrender
and I ask you more than once
if you really, really, really consent,
if you really are willing to have me own you
for this time, or maybe forever,
and you say yes, that then I expect you
to surrender. Without any wavering.
What did I do? she said.
A lot, without asking permission.
You have to ask. I wasn’t going to
enforce that when he was here
because i didn’t want to out you
to your ex husband
when he doesn’t know you are my sub
but if you think I didn’t notice every time
you did something without our silent signal
or without asking, well,  you should know
me better than that by now.
Her hair was falling in her face
and I know she hates how that tickles
so i pulled it away and put her hairclip in it.
Thank you, David, she said.
That’s better, I like that attitude a lot more.
I’m sorry for not respecting our agreement,
she said. I forgive you, I said,
I know this is still new.
I’m not going to fuck you again now,
but if i untie you, what will you do
to show me you want to please me?
Rub your back? she said.
That’s a start.

 

And that’s how I wound up
with my hands tied behind me;
she got to be bratty,
at least until I got her not very well-executed
knot loose and rolled her off me.
I got to use the paddle after all.
and her ass was red and getting redder
until she finally used our safe word,
Donald Trump, cause, we’re never
going to say that
during sex any other time,
and it’s a great mood killer.

 

Kink isn’t my always-fare
but the trust it builds
tears open my heart
and, in the end, isn’t love,
isn’t openness, isn’t being fully ourselves
what it’s all about anyway?

Old Shit

I learned, finally,
don’t reread your old writings.
None of it is true.
You,  not anyone else hearing it
you alone
know what you were feeling
and these words, that you so wanted
to catch that
are a bald-faced lie.
If only
I could stop trying

17 verses for 4

1.
drunk on you, your words
push clouds of scent,
frankincense and orange,
penetrating the secret fortresses
I thought no one knew of,
softness sliding across my skin;
my ears burn with your thoughts
2.
As you have become
more present in my life,
you are less in my longing
and more in my being;
the poems of separation and longing
transformed to poems
of skin and smile and touch;
your fingers running along my back
leave trails of invisible words
that only partly fade by morning;
accretions of desire-ink
I am loathe to wash away
3.
I lean into your car window
to kiss you again
this could go on forever
I pull away sooner than I would
so that I can pull away at all
I want a time
when there is no constraint
honey on your lips, all of them
that I lick off luxuriously
your eyes inches away
terrifyingly, completely safe
fierceness melted into surrender
4.
I make the brackets and such of wood
to install the $2 wall-mount lamp
I got at the thrift store
for your side of the bed
when you are here studying;
I text you a picture and you return
a heart-eyed emoji
It’s my eyes that are full of hearts
stars circling overhead
5.
My skin has its own memory
better than whiskey
more real than ice cream
the memory of what your skin
is thinking; I hear a voice
speaking my own thoughts
before I have them.
6.
salmon sky morphs to rose
then violet at the edges of grey
then the almost dark
reminds me of your hair
7.
butterflies migrating
from my stomach to my head
even so, the anticipation
of your lips against me
clears my mind
8.
talking, you hold your hand out
to take mine; such a small thing
and unaccustomed for me
to be obviously desired;
I see something blooming
a secret flower, perhaps,
and want to cup it gently
in my hands, waiting to see
what it becomes
9.
I imagine your face
pillow distance
and in my mind
I grasp your hair;
soon enough,
I will know what sound
that elicits
10.
Your smile opens your face
light in your eyes,
when I see you as we approach
wherever we meet;
electric heat runs up my spine,
sparks in my hair,
flashes of energy passing
heart to heart, unseen,
except in the edges
of your smile.
11.
you lean over to take me in your mouth
28 years of marriage without this
always makes me want to say,
no, you don’t need to,
and then I think, shut up stupid
12.
Sitting on the edge of the bed
your back to me, the robe
slips down your shoulders
white silk for one of you
and red velour for the other
the gesture so similar
revealing to me your back
the top of your ass, the curves
and my leg is already tingling
knowing the weight of yours on mine
13,
After a while, there’s no I
no you, simply edges colliding
your eyes singularities
I am pulled in inexorably
and sometime later
emerge from the other side
a little more whole, a little more healed
your love patching all the cracks
my walls have sustained
14.
I go to meet a new potential partner
coffee, conversation, the dance
of becoming acquainted;
all of you who are mine now
have set the bar high,
it’s perhaps unfair to new people
but it’s me finally, from now on,
putting myself first, without guilt
15.
My ex said I must have been
weaned too early
because I never get tired of nipples
and she got annoyed
lucky for me you never
get tired of my mouth on yours
16.
I lie awake listening to the rhythm
of your sleeping breath
it sinks into my belly
the warmth of your hip against my hand
is the anchor for my calm
Earlier we kissed and I asked you
if you were sleepy and you nodded
my heart sparkled that you feel safe enough
to tell me your real life, your real desire
that you now can, with me, simply sleep
when that is your body’s need.
Your breathing in the night,
in my ear within your arms,
in my hearing sitting at my table:
I am so grateful for each breath you draw in
another moment you are with me
leading on into unimaginably
greater and greater presence,
17.
Your voice on the phone
ripples in my belly
It is a few days until I will hold you
if you think that it’s going to be sedate
you’re so totally fucking wrong

My Girlfriend’s boyfriend

I went on a date
with my girlfriends boyfriend
and she said the next day
I’m glad you didn’t fuck him
I told her, you know
I don’t fuck on the first date any more
I was the first person she dated in a few years,
when we met, who hadn’t
tried to get in her pants, subtly or overtly,
on the first date, so it’s a running joke with us
because she always asks me, why didn’t you?
I mean, I’m not opposed exactly, it’s just that
I don’t know how to get past the awkward thing on a first date,
one minute you’re all, oh cool
your oldest daughter is in gymnastics, or,
I really love Thai food too, or,
and then you’re, oh by the way
when was your last STI testing? and, hey
I know there’s a big stigma around herpes
which I am trying to help dispel, cause unless
you’re pregnant or trying to get that way
or have an autoimmune disease,
it isnt’ a serious health risk, and yes,
my ex-wife had type 2 and I test positive
but I’m taking valcyclovir and never have had
an outbreak, even so,  it’s a little bit awkward
on a first coffee date to bring that up,
although I have when the date has stretched into hours
and it’s clear we are going to have sex the next time,
of course with my girlfriend’s boyfriend
it wasn’t either of our first polyamorous rodeo
it naturally came up and STI status
was a relaxed topic of conversation
so, no we didn’t have sex,
but I did kiss him and it was hot
she had texted me partway through
while he and I finished dinner:
What’re y’all doing? In bed yet?
She likes to text me when I’m with another partner
I used to think just to see if I would answer
but now I know it’s really a slight signal
of unease; what most people don’t realize
is that even when you are consciously polyamorous,
and know that to be your orientation,
you can still have feelings of jealousy
or fear of missing out, and with her,
when we realized a year ago
the special nature of our relationship
the type of relationship we have
makes her feel more vulnerable,
so I don’t get upset when she texts me, I’m just reassuring,
I said. no, we’re talking, and she said, what is there to talk about,
because she had told me he is a good listener, but a better fuck,
and doesn’t talk much, which isn’t true, he just doesn’t talk much to her;
so I replied, there’s LOTS to talk about, he is a very interesting man, and she replied
with the peach and eggplant emojis and I said, going offline but not for sex
not that I wasn’t thinking about it
he is one of the most attractive men
I’ve dated in the past year, and not
just because he is her lover also
I had been sitting there while he talked
looking more at his mouth than his eyes
and he knew it, I was thinking
about something in his profile that speaks
to what he wants to do with his mouth
to potential partners, and also
thinking about things he says in his Fet profile
that make his kink line up so much
with mine, and we talk, of course, about
our mutual partner, her alleyways and side paths,
and that leads to talking about pleasuring our other women,
I say, there are some books I need to write,
Pussies I have eaten, a memoir, or,
Pussies I didn’t eat, a very short story about adolescence,
I tell him about trying to have a section in a poem
about pussy- flavored ice cream
and how I lost it trying to read that one.
I realize I don’t have to try to be funny,
he is just taking in who I am
and I can see that he likes me, which makes me shy,
and we talk about how our mutual partner
is Princess to my Daddy, he is glad
she has that with me, she wanted it with him
but he already has an exclusive Little;
He is a switch, I am looking for signs of his sub
and find that, finally, right at the end of the date
his goodnight kiss is all about me
he is so clearly desiring my pleasure
that I freeze at first and then relax,
my difficulty in receiving is still real
even though my sex- coaching mentor
energetically blasted the block open
in front of 80 people at an event 18 months ago,
and little bits have come popping out since then
in somatic therapy or when im with a lover
like the way they blast a kidneystone
with a sonic blast but then you still have to pass the pieces
letting bits of my receiving block out
had been necessary but no fun,
so his kiss is all for my pleasure,
and I have to deliberately open to that;
later that evening, we text about it and I find
I don’t have to explain anything to him;
when was the last time I met someone new
that needed no explanation, maybe not since
I met his girlfriend who is my girlfriend
I have been with other men, I am beginning
to connect deeply with another partners other partner
he and I are seeing each other every few weeks,
he texted me from his vacation how much he misses me,
and suggested a few very dirty things he can’t wait to try
and still, this man who lives two thousand miles away
who I won’t see in person again for months
when he is here again on business
and sees our mutual girlfriend, this man
is hanging large in my fantasies;
she said, I get first dibs
on date night with him, of course, I said,
but in between we have text and maybe phone
and maybe I am already falling
and I’m certainly in lust
with my girlfriend’s boyfriend.

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