Saturday, February 10, 2018

Poem: I Told You

I couldn’t sleep. Past 12AM, not ready to check out at 12PM. 
Too much energy from today, seeping through me like the soft red stains on my thigh from where you were sitting after sex. 
And I just wanted to touch your hair, that curly mess that bounces happily even when you don't smile. 

You're smart, of course, talking about politics like an old hand one moment, the next minute about making your niche in sweet potato tortillas in Mexico City, casually dropping names like Costco and Bimbo. 
You're the last person I'd expect to say she went on a diet at the age of 11, pre-puberty, pre-blood stains, but women, they see themselves in a light harsher than any sun the Mayans, Aztecs, or Mexicas ever measured. 
They worry about the water being wasted while I lather my hands with hotel soap, about not having a steady job post-university, about not finding love, or other things the universe measured by any calendar must see as small as the beautiful mole on your breast. 
(And that hair, it would make Samson jealous.) 

I find out later you were part of an all-women, American-style football team in a country where football is a different sport. 
In another photo, you are upside down, demonstrating a twisting maneuver only a contortionist would approve of. 
Little about you is congruent or straight, and as you walk beside me, in front of me, behind me, I see the black hair before I see you, and I enter your morena maze without a guide, map, or ticket. 
You kiss my eyelids and finally, I fall asleep. 

© Matthew Rafat

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