No.1 Primate

My little monkey
Soon-to-be damn dirty ape
Taller than me now


Speaking as a woman

I’m not perfectly shaved
My “tummy” isn’t “cute” or “flat”
or perfect for that matter either
I don’t straighten my hair
it isn’t straight to begin with
I don’t tweeze or shape or color my brows
A story has begun on my body
Of course I have sexy panties and stockings
But the next one doesn’t get to see them
Until I am SURE

I won’t be wearing my Uggs with leggings
To go out and get him a Starbucks
I don’t eat chia seeds on my salad
I’m a bacon bits kind of girl
And I fucking LOVE bread and dessert

I like wearing boxer shorts to bed
And tank tops
And baggy sweats
And jeans are god’s gift to mankind
Tee shirts yes and silver and did someone say boots?
Doc Marten is a friend
Yes there are heels in the closet
And they get put on when I feel the inclination

My breasts are heavy and real
The center of my body made a baby years ago
And I’ll never be able to recover fully
Without a surgeon’s attention
But my son walks this earth, strong and sure
And my woman body was made to ensure just that
Not to serve as an anonymous object, to please some mindless stranger

Friends tell me I’m petite
But I stomp around my place on the phone
Like a fully-grown clydesdale
And these friends aren’t the fairweather kind
And all our selfies look different. Every time.

I’m open to hello and I’d rather smile than rest my “bitch face”
I laugh big and I shake your hand for real
I find understanding in the grasping and affirming feel
of another adult’s physical greeting
I learned and still believe
Those that can’t or don’t should never be suffered for more than acquaintance sake

I cry at puppy rescues and returning soldiers
and every time Samantha finally gets Jake
Or when four famous NYC friends raise a cosmopolitan toast as the camera pulls away

And when some old guitar or sax riff just digs in and won’t let go
I’ll sing and probably dance
Because my body tells me to
I’m a fan of serenades and impromptu shower solos

My body is sturdy
And being held and handled is required
But my active passivity is matched by my need and desire
I find myself craving men who are like bears
You’ll likely never meet a hungrier woman/girl/lady

Social media gets much of my love hate
But you won’t catch me changing profile photos every week
Or bragging about how strong I am when there’s nothing I truly suffer for
Or posting quote after quote about sweetness and kindness and light
While I won’t walk in the cities or look at real life

Politics and world affairs drive me insane
And I want to talk about them
Because I’ve read and I’ve listened and I’ve travelled enough to know we’re not alone
And as far as I can tell you’ll never catch me on the street confirming society’s belief in the average person’s stupidity
Unable to even give you the Vice President’s name

I know things, but I don’t understand which way to hang curtains
We don’t use placemats here
Napkin holders? Gravy boats? Doilies? Family china?
No thank you
The only “linens” I have are for washing, sleeping and wiping, and they don’t often match
Ask me about my small collection of beach towels and my favorite blanket
Because sand and sea are a necessity and I will get dirty or snow covered
(maybe not the snow so much)

I’m not a fantasy doll figure
With perfect skin
The only thing “delicate” and “slender” about me now are my hands
And maybe my nose
I’m still soft and I like to smell good
I wiggle my toes
I loved to be curled up in arms larger than mine
I want to feel protected
Ached for

And I don’t expect my perfect man to be chiseled or ripped
I don’t fantasize about his tight ass
or delts or  wallet
or fancy car
or a giant desk in a big corner office
that he claims because he wins all day
Or his gym card
Or his body spray
Or a closet full of power ties
Or some male domination display in a grocery store line

I fantasize about a human man
With a soul and I don’t care if he has funny toenails
He might have hair on his chest but less on his head
Maybe he likes beer as much as I like bread
And he has a scent that lingers and makes me smile
Makes deep sounds when he’s close and needs to hold me
Who might sing along when the music’s loud in the car
A man with big arms to carry
A huge heart
Maybe his was broken too
And he’s careful and hopeful like me

I’d love for that man to love the human in me
to be who he is and see what I am
and want everything
With the nicks and the scratches
And the history
And I want to love and lust him back meaningfully
And share and work through all confusion we share
as members of the same species but the opposite sex

I’m not a hot young thing anymore
I never was, if I’m honest
In my thoughts I’m quietly seeking a legit partner
I’ve been through the pile you know
I’ve fished the sea
I don’t know if there’s even still one out there meant to get hooked
But I love “ocean” and “love” analogies
We all come from the water when all’s said and done
We all come from the slime and the salty

As I keep getting to know my own self
The one I hope to find will know all this
And we’ll walk together with dirty feet and happy eyes and hands
Because our insides will match
Despite how the world tells us our outsides are supposed to be

Nine Years

He called me Pretty Girl
Almost had me right away with just the written words
How ever did we find each other
Some online stranger-finding service

He wore jeans and a dark shirt
I approached him at the bar
As he sat nursing some whiskey drink
Legs slightly open
Like a man sits
I remember that moment
Because he spoke to me
Like I was human
Even though I was a sexual being
A strange woman
I think I touched his thigh
And he held my hand
It could have happened
He liked to touch me

And there was a sweetness
Oh my god
He was so sweet, almost awkward
Not a seducer
Or the best there ever was
We flirted
We kissed in my car that first time
It wasn’t the best kiss
But it was more than a kiss
It was him
Unassuming, no expectations
His soft, sad eyes
His stature and size
His voice was deep and warm
And his smile

It was nine years ago
Trauma marriage, my son just out of diapers
Separated and alone
I was trying to break free
Trying to become something more
I had friends and support and potential
But I was broken

And my strongest recollection

I remember HIM
nine years ago
And frozen moments from inside
a barely occupied corner apartment on a 3rd floor

How he picked me up like his bride and carried me to my bed

How he held me down while he made love to me
Wondered out loud if I would be afraid of him
And it made me want him more
I’ve never fallen so fast
For anyone
I felt like I could have died in his arms
And it would have been right

How we sat on my bed and talked about our similar lives
I felt like he was my kind

How I cried on the floor when he left to go home to a sad household
How he took some part of me away when he said goodnight

This man who would be inside me
Who would kiss me in the empty parking lot of a public place
A mere two miles from both of our families
Kiss me and mark me forever
The blueprint for the kiss that almost got me in deep with a devil redhead

Nine years ago
I’ve never been the same

And it doesn’t end

I still see him in passing
I still see him in that parking lot

His body
and mouth
and voice
and self
Live less than a quarter of a mile away from my beating heart
Every day of the last four years

I do nothing
But my heart does
It stops on any given encounter in the supermarket or gas station

I felt like he loved me
I’ll never understand why

I felt so connected to him
Yet seeing him makes me silent
I walk right by
Holding tears and joy and memories and sorry

Nine years ago
He was drinking then
He was experimenting with men
Maybe I was a sparkly oasis in a sea of calamity
Maybe I was a soft and pretty place to land
But just a mirage
From disease
Maybe I was just as chaotic
But I didn’t feel that with him
I didn’t feel crazy
I just felt everything

We were supposed to have coffee when he got sober
We never did
I was trying to be sober too
To steer clear of the magnet that was him
Today I would go anywhere he asked

So we are “strangers”
We play that role
But nothing was ever stranger
Than having to deny
Over and over
That I know how he feels and breathes and sounds and tastes
And that my sick little heart still breaks
And aches to hear him
Or anyone so dear and lovely
call me Pretty Girl


imagePressed play
Looped that shit
Turned it up so loud
Made me beg for it

I wanted to feel the rhythm and clanging
Hammering guitars
Chords like vibrating
Fingers inside me

A song I forgot
Played itself on me
Inside the confines of steel, fiberglass and upholstery

I remembered had a lover

I wished I had a real man like I did
And I did
And he stared
And he was dazzled
And I stared back
And I wanted
I was wanted
Someone wanted me

And the music was between us
And on us
I thought I knew what love was
He could only look at me
For once in my life I was somebody’s

And then the music changed
And changed again
Press fast forward
The feeling is fading

Replaced by half truths
Liars and flatterers
Takers and walking dead
Defiling the sacred
I bled for them
While they sang sweetly and fled

And comes the chorus
Some part of me wants the haunting
So I sing it over and over
But then it’s over
Lover to lover
We all know how the song ends
You are not my friends
I know
I really had one once
So I can tell the difference

He danced to the beat with me
He really looked
Really tried to find the soul
That hid behind the promises of the body
He asked for me
And I would still be his

But we’re not getting the band back together
That kind of reunion
Not meant to happen
But I won’t forget it

Hey turn that up
I’m getting something
What was I saying about love and romance?
Oh this noise is more beautiful
I just wanna feel the rhythm and the clanging
If you believe me
Tell me that you feel it too

This one’s for me

Someone else will think I am pretty
Someone will hold me in high esteem
Today is not that day
Today the only person I will look to for that is me.

In the near future
Someone besides myself will value my existence
Someone will miss my very presence
Right now has felt barren of any such kind of sentiment
For tomorrow I wish to no longer look outside for it

Years from now
A “we” will look back and see how far we’ve come
I will fully appreciate how long my own journey was
This year has not been kind or gentle or proud
This year I truly learned what grief was about

When I have gone
I hope my family will look on me with love and respect
I hope my life will have meant more than some transition from birth to death
So often it’s been a challenge I didn’t agree to or want
But I’m here to take it. Now. And for the somedays and the future, and the me who matters
and is SOMEONE.