Conch

Most women want to be loved,

not just fucked. I have

been cursed, as one who

men can’t fuck without

falling in love.

 

Time and again, he says I’m Her,

the first choice,

one who makes a heart

sick, beat like a snare;

I’m the metronome it needs.

 

But, when he sees me,

it’s all diamond rings and wedding gowns.

Our ephemeral eyes contact in lust,

but his head fills a scene-

clean baby bottles and dinner dishes

drip on the rack, devoted dog wags

between us, lazy dessert chat

of a vacation on the beach.

 

Inevitably, those words break free

before he can think to stop it.

A day, a week, never a month

before it poisons him.

 

To repeat that sacred saying-

and to act as though I meant it-

would be to hold

a sea creature’s calcium

carcass to my ear,

and to act as though I

am mesmerized by the magic

of an ocean in my palm;

I listen to the swirl

of red in my skull.

 

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