pain

I AM A FEMINIST AND I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED AS A PASSIONATE, CONSUMING, CARING LOVER

Painting by  Sarah Danes Jarrett

Painting by Sarah Danes Jarrett

“I kissed a feminist once”,
he says, face flushed blotchy, something heavy resting on his shoulders
maybe
“I kissed a feminist once,”
and everybody laughs
“she was cold as ice,” he says
and he doesn’t mention how I turned
warm beneath his fingers,
heated up like embers
and reduced his bed to flame and ashes
“God was she mean,” he says
but he hasn’t forgotten the time
I told him to be kind to himself, to
purge the poison from his veins and
scrape the smoke from his lungs
“I love you I love you I love you”
I said,
“please love yourself too”
“I kissed a feminist once,”
he says, to loud guffaws,
an elbow in his side
and he doesn’t say “her lips
were the softest thing to ever brush
my collar bone”
he doesn’t say “she made playlists in my mind”
or “she covered me like a blanket”
or “her teeth on my earlobe ripped me open and scattered me across the sheets of her twin bed”
he doesn’t say “I loved that
storm of a girl,
I loved her heavy at 4 am, I loved
her like pennies
at the bottom of a fountain
like memorized freckles
I loved her like depth perception
like opposable thumbs
I loved her I loved her I loved her”
and instead he shrugs
that heavy thing off his shoulders
and shrugs the feel of my lips
off his chest and he says,
“she was a crazy bitch anyway”.

I kissed a feminist once, Lily Cigale