Tag Archives: erotic


I was 12 years old
when Ryan Akers
approached me in the arcade
while I played Centipede.
I tried not to pay attention,
tried to act like I didn’t feel
anything unusual—
as if the new and unfamiliar wish
for him to touch me
was as benign
as anyone’s desire to hold a puppy.
And I don’t remember
a single word he and I exchanged
but I remember the shock
of seeing Lance kiss Amy
in the dark corridor
before we got picked up—
and the next morning in Sunday school
I watched Amy open a Dum-Dum
which she licked with a kind of pleasure
that made me certain
she wasn’t focused on the Book of Joshua
or its heroine, Rahab, the prostitute
who got exactly what she wanted.
Amy’s mind
was on the tip of Lance’s tongue—
and on the tip of mine
were words like sensual and erotic—
words that weren’t yet in my lexicon,
but their meaning was beginning
to take hold
on the scaffolding of my experience,
which wouldn’t include a kiss
from Ryan Akers—
but it was his anatomy
that first led my imagination
to cling to all the possible and varied
expressions of what I can now
identify as love.





Cropped area of “The Love Song” Norman Rockwell, 1926

First Encounter

how the mind
finds as much
in memory
as it does
in the infinite hope
of daydreams—

as it is
to imagine
what’s to come,
what encounters
we have
to look
forward to—

it’s the
of my navel
a cup
for your pleasure
that makes me
smile and pause—

and I stop
whatever it is
that needs
to be done
so I can slip
beneath you
once again
when I close my eyes.






Duane Michals, 1969 “The Young Girl’s Dream”


No poem
could convey
what happened
to my body
when I saw yours
for the first time
a single layer
of pretense
or inhibition—
just your eyes
looking into mine
with a kind of hope
that whatever
happened next
would be
the first time—
and not the last.






Photograph by Ansel Adams, 1932, “Rose and Driftwood”


When the mountains
have had enough of you
and send you home sore
and craving sleep
I want to be the balm
that covers you in the dark—
I want you supine beneath me
between my legs and inside
my soft wet warmth—
I want your eyes closed
and your only sensation
to be the slow and prolonged
ecstasy that I will draw out
of your body and into mine.






I am lost
in a ball of darkness
as my eyes close
and my arms pull
my legs to my breasts
and you are the absent
thing I am living without
and all I can do
is wish and imagine
you are in the universe
of my bedroom
taking off your clothes
with a kind of urgency
that is unmistakably
primal and pulsing
and we would last
as long as we could
with our hands exploring
and our lips pressing—
and after my mouth turned you
into the smoothest stone
I would open my eyes
to see yours
waiting for permission
to close
the intolerable gap.




Photo by Deanna Morae

Breakfast Ritual

We’ll never have one.
Never make plans over coffee
to get lost in the anticipation
of our next adventure.
You’ll never stand in the kitchen
making muffins
with the harvest of serviceberries
while I read you the latest bad news
out loud from the newspaper,
which we’ll use to start our campfire
when the sun goes down.
We’ll never marvel at our luck—
how good it was to have arrived
in the universe in the same century
with the same desire to live quietly
among the wild things
that bloom and chirp
and adapt and thrive in a way
that reduces our hubris
to the size of pebbles made smooth
by water and time.
We’ll never know how it feels to hurt
one another with a careless tone,
or an inconsiderate act.
But most regrettably,
my heart will never be expanded
by your experience with loss and love—
which means you’ll never know
how softly my hands can touch
the scars beneath your skin.
And so it’s best to let the fire
burn out and settle into ash
that can be swept away
with the crumbs from those muffins
which I am sure would taste so good.


Photograph by Jack Welpott, 1964