Ashe. 20. Pansexual. Theatre major, gender studies minor.
I’ve got a heart that always lands a few cities over.
I’m trying to make a home and she
is navigating the highways back to me.
I don’t define myself by love,
but by the absence of it,
like negative space in a painting:
these are the years I pulled myself up by the roots
and those are the ones where I dug through my ribcage
into the meat of my lungs
looking for dinosaur bones.
I write my heart letters, sometimes—
long distance phone calls to my own chest
just to see if they’re treating her right.
I ask if the stars where she is
are more friendly than the unwashed dishes
in my kitchen sink:
how they’ve started to look
like a toothy skyline beneath the faucet moon.
I’ve spent years feeling like
the right person under the wrong sky,
and maybe my meandering heart has got it right.
Because I am every Sunday morning in the sun:
the sound of the coffee pot when it runs out of water.
I’ve got a love so big she goes road tripping without me.
Because my chest is the size of a medicine cabinet
with the shelves pulled out,
and my heart always finds her way back to me,
If healing means I’ve got to set my heart free, a while,
if it means I’ve got to let her see the world and come back wizened,
if it means living with my hands pressed to the place
where she used to be—
then it will be worth the day she comes home,
and I open the hinge to my chest and remember
all the faces, all the love, I have ever known.
When it comes to sexting in public,
there are a few things to know:
The first thing
is that whatever you were doing before,
will not get done. If you’re doing it right,
this is going to be your main focus
for a hot minute.
This is a game of discreet passion.
You have to be both
in the moment that you and your lover
have written, and be present enough
in whatever is going on around you
that no one will check who you’re texting.
You’ll learn, very quickly,
that your sex vocabulary is shockingly limited.
There is in fact, a finite amount of times
you can use the word “fuck” in a sext.
That includes variations of it.
This is where those inappropriate thoughts
on the bus ride come in handy. Think
about the little things. Be detailed.
The art is all in the verbal teasing.
Become a cunning linguist.
But as you compose these saucy texts,
make sure that you don’t get too noticeably
excited. Sit in a way that is comfortable
and will conceal your boner.
When you read something particularly…
provocative, don’t show it on your face.
Show it in your response back.
If you need help, a good couple
of starting points are:
What would I want you to do now?
What do I want to do to you right now?
Just like normal sex, this is give and take.
Send a sext that can go somewhere,
that leaves room for a steamy answer.
If you just tell about how much you want to fuck,
it’s not going to be the best of fun.
Sext: I want you naked in the kitchen
Sext: Baby, I need you.
Sext: How do you feel about whipped cream?
Take in every word they write back to you
and relish it. You two have entered a form
of sexual intimacy that used to take
long-distance couples weeks to perform!
Sext: Why stop there? Laundry room too?
Sext: I love it when you’re bad.
Sext: Only if you lick it all off.
Shit. Was that sent to my mom?
Even countries away, miles apart,
or just in the other room, you two have decided
to be together in this moment because
you can’t wait any longer.
Sext: I want to strip the walls of this home
and rebuild them with you.
Sext: We are stories being written, edited,
and read aloud to each other.
Sext: I’m going to place an entire desert in our hourglass.
If you can, allow yourself to get lost.
Even if you have to get away to be alone,
to be together, do it.
Sext: We’ll be old, retired, in rocking chairs
and I’ll still try to impress you.
Sext: I want to fit into your back like a spoon
into the soft of an avocado.
Sext: You twirl your hair like a goddamn pistol.
Cupid’s arrows have nothing on you.
And you’ll feel the shift, the pulse and rhythm,
the tectonic plates settling after moving
the entire world, then you send the last,
and the sexiest of sexts.
Sext: I love you.