others drink, and others fall in love,
each one dies from a different way.
my mother wanted to name me Sunny
because her name is Wendi
but I like to pretend it was because
she knew I’d grow up to be stubborn.
just like the sun
I choose to rain on your day off
and shine when you are stuck inside, working.
I like to pretend it was because
just like the sun,
one day I’ll light up somebody’s solar system
without them ever owing me a thing.
he called me Clementine
because I went through a weird fruit phase
and would carry clementines in my purse,
drink clementine tea,
bake clementine cupcakes,
shower with clementine soap.
he said he would taste sugar when he drank after me
and when I kissed him it felt like summer on the beach,
peeling clementines into a pile on the sand.
she calls me Mark
because when we were drunk and sixteen
we made a stupid joke about a walrus named Mark.
we tell everyone the origin of the nickname is a secret,
or make up a ridiculous story
about sneaking off with a cabana boy named Mark
during spring break 2009.
I always liked nicknames,
the comfort of being something special to someone.
but when you called me by my name,
laughing and drinking your coffee saying,
“Drew…you always fuck up the punch line.”
I felt like my name was the best name I could have,
because it fell out of your mouth like vanilla frosting
and I swear to God I could taste my dreams on your lips.
Too many men look at me like I owe them something, like the word ‘beautiful’ should mean something to me just because that’s how they choose to describe me. Too many men think that the black heels I wear to the grocery store is my way of saying, “Look at my legs. Do you like the way my dress hugs my curves?” When the truth is I just got off work and need some fucking beer and bread. Don’t look at me like that, the only reason my lips are painted red is because I ran out of Chapstick and this was the only thing I could find in my car.
I once dated a man who said that for Valentine’s Day all he wanted was me in red lace. He said that I would taste like chocolate, that he wanted to show me just how good love can feel. He talked like his sex skills were the best gift he could give me. I wore black lace and showed him how it feels to be fucked harder than the night he lost his virginity to a stripper. He said I tasted like mystery and black coffee as he got down on his knees to find his boxers. He said he couldn’t find the taste of chocolate on my neck. That was the morning he realized that being a man had nothing to do with ‘how hard you can fuck’. If that was the case, I would be ten foot tall and bullet proof and one hell of a guy with nice boobs.
One time I fell into the arms of a drunk man who claimed that he loved me afterwards. He called me a bitch when I said I just wanted to be his friend. I told him if me giving him my friendship made me a bitch then me giving him my heart would make me a cunt from hell. That was the day I stopped kissing boys who had to prove that they were men and started holding hands with men who didn’t realize they turned heads when they walked by.
Love rests in the heart and is spilled from your throat.
Lust rests in your pants and prefers to not ask for a name.
One day those men will realize that sincere, kind words
are the way to a woman’s heart, not a good fucking.
One day those men will realize that their Adam’s apple
is the forbidden fruit,
not their dick.