I rework myself, rearrange the way I make connections in my head, until I get to the bottom of what I’ve been trying to say all along:
1) One time, I was play wrestling a girl on my bed, and her foot bent the wrong way. She cried out under the candlelight, and that was the most sorry I’ve ever been. She was light. I could throw her around whenever I wanted. She hated how much I refused to do it after the incident.
2) Or these was a girl who smacked me across the face six times after school, glasses flying across the playground. Before that, we’d kissed against her locker. And before that, we’d given each other the finger in homeroom. Then we had sex behind a trailer.
3) When I was a boy, a girl made me lick her blue jeans. I remember being so close to her skin, tasting the fabric as if it were the sweetest part of her. The babysitter caught and separated us, and told me to never do that. He was an alcoholic. I can still see how he fought with his wife, as he spread Arm & Hammer powder onto the soles of his worn feet.
4) Now, more than ever, I think about a girl I used to meet in the woods behind campus. The way we made love. I wonder how badly the twigs and the dirt and the grass must have cut into her soft back, burnt red dry, strands of skin hanging off of her. But all she ever said was, “Go ahead, John, do what you want. You won’t hurt me.”