"High School Boyfriends"
Because they were willing to like me a little,
because they were willing to drape the heavy
animal warmth of their arms over my shoulders,
or hold me tight during slow dances
when the lights went down in the gym,
because they were willing
to claim me, like a new world,
or a wilderness waiting,
green beyond the waves, I
let them do whatever they wanted,
my breasts rubbed raw
under the flint
of their fingers,
my hand cramped
from jerking off the cock
of Lee, Randy, John, Richard, David, Peter, Jim,
each one the same
hard, groping boy-shape
that bruised my lips
in back seat, field, or at
forbidden forest camp-outs,
then left me lonely, my tired fingers sticky
with the salt-wet slick of their come.
I didn't know any better,
I say to myself now.
I didn't even know to say no
and push their hands away.
But the body doesn't lie.
The body remembers forever.
And sometimes the ghosts
of boys' hands still smolder inside me,
a fire gone underground
where something green once grew.
Forgive me if I touch your face/in place of another face