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Blood, Sex & The Open Road

Last week, Julie's post at What's Your Pleasure? asked readers to comment on whether they have sex during their period. It was a great post, and a lot of people weighed in with their opinions in the comments. I'd like to share what I consider the most erotic piece I've ever written as a response.

They say a picture's worth 1000 words… I've got 840 words in the extended post that can paint you more than a dozen pictures. And they're pretty explicit, at that. I know most people aren't all that into poetry, but trust me, this is more like rock & roll. Let me know if you don't agree.


You listened with your whole body, curled
like an animal into the sound of that night’s words.
Your sparking eyes held every scrap
of light in the darkened room
stabbing like rusty banderillos into mine.
Your wild grin a knife on which I wished
to slide my neck and open my throat
to a deeper voice of black song.
It was not the moment that you danced,
breasts bare and body curved to snap.
It was not that you arrived, shirt open low
and broke my concentration.
It was the way your listening pulled the poets,
to dance themselves on coals
and broke night into flame.

For you it became inevitable
on the road to Chicago. Four of us
crammed into the front seat of my Matador,
riding low, gas tank sparking against
the road’s every irregularity.
We traveled two hundred slow miles
before I relaxed into your body,
three hundred before our fingers met
on the ridge of the open window and held,
four hundred before intention and invitation
became clearer than the road in front of me.
The lines of the highway abstracted
into points of desire, scattered vision
beyond the vanishing point of scant perspective.

We walked through dawn in Chinatown,
kissing and watching the sun respond
to the motion of old men’s and women’s arms
raised in ancient ritual to the sky.
We stole roses from an alley garden
next to a trash barrel
under a shimmering coat of maggots.

The couch at the crash pad
was a mass of sharp springs –
mismatched cushions and an afghan
no protection. We sank down to sleep
but, pressing closer and closer seeking comfort
we forgot about sleep.
You tied a scarf around your eyes
against the sun, and claimed invisibility.
I couldn’t give a shit if we were visible,
beneath your teeth, compressed between
your hungry flesh and rusty iron coils
digging into my back and thighs.
All my vision was tuned into you
until restless noises rustling from below
made us realize our blindness
to those who struggled on the floor
to keep their eyes closed.

Frustrated we hit the streets,
looking for release, finding at least
distractions and further temptations.
Outside a café we ran into Eartha.
You sat in light rain on someone's car,
reading a letter from your mother
while she and I explored a Santeria shop.
Saints stacked floor to ceiling,
a wall of candles to contact any power,
potions, soaps and powders overflowing the cases.
I bought Legitimo Polvo Del Coyote
and a candle for Ellegua.
As the cash changed hands, the cold sky
broke open into thunder, lightning
cracking into close-by buildings.
We walked, euphoric and soaking
past a house where some hundred crosses
crouched in the sunken yard and covered the façade.
A fireman sat casually under the eve of the firehouse,
laughingly smoking, relaxing in anticipation
of gravity and flashing action.
At Eartha’s place, children screamed
in mock battle, throwing buckets of water
at each other on the roof below. We ground
our lips and hips and bodies in the unlit hall
as she struggled with the lock
which would not give.

The apartment was thick
with the emptiness of transience,
pirate radios and rave invites piled upon sparse furniture.
Toolkits and manifestoes scattered around
marking the hum and intersection of lives.
Eartha offered us her room,
a Murphy bed with no mattress,
just springs folding out from the wall
and a thick, rough quilt.
You lay down, gratefully and immediately gone.
I went across the street with Eartha to a café
for coffee and goat stew.

Finally, I slip into this borrowed bed
trying not to wake you.
You cough, and it takes you,
shaking you hard against me.
You turn roughly out of sleep to me
exhausted, excited, a full day since you rested,
for me that and half again
and finally, in thunder, I taste your blood
flowing lightly between your legs
and I push into you. The others are
talking in the other room, home
from marching against the Klan.
The door will not stay closed.
We don’t care.
Slowly, you tell me, slowly.
Water is pouring into a bucket across the room
from a newly discovered leak and I hold you
and bring your mouth to mine
and you taste your blood and your juices,
narcocorridos in the street outside the window
blaring loud, then fading as cars pass
and you pull me and tell me
you’ve never wanted anyone this bad
and I don’t care if it’s true. Your blood,
your body and your cries are enough,
this moment, its simple genesis in innocence enough,
to confirm and render irrelevant
all that stands behind these saints,
candles and crosses, feeding on faith.
We stand behind our own crosses,
as strong as the powers
in the lack of consequence
this confirmation brings.
Our momentum slows to a soft stop,
hanging unfinished in the ozone
of the storm’s passing and we fall
slowly into deep sleep, entwined
in a knowledge I would have killed for.

If you liked this piece, you can read more like it at I Got No Zen. The work there is posted in reverse order, newest first, like most blogs. I suggest using the category archives to start at the beginning, but it doesn't really matter all that much.


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