a woman asked me…

a woman asked me yesterday
how is sex after kids?
she had read an essay I wrote
silence and the word
about being a sex writer
about still having trouble
talking in bed.

sometimes the words fail you.

I didn't have a good answer for her
at that moment, but here
is what I would say now.

when I was twenty, I was
a live wire, humming with sex;
almost anyone could have me
if they knew enough to ask;
sex came off me in waves
like heat, like flame.
I was incandescent.

and I won't blame the kids entirely
but for years after them I told people
my sexual orientation was tired.

that live wire was wrapped in layers
of insulation, and buried deep
beneath the surface of diapers
and laundry and dishes;
it's hard to think sexy thoughts
when you're covered in vomit.

now sex is a process of excavation
and it takes a dedicated digger
to peel away the muffling layers
to uncover the naked wire.

but thank god, thank god
when finally laid bare
it still sparks and blazes
incandescent.

One thought on “a woman asked me…”

  1. This is beautiful!

    I still am a bit wistful for the way I was taught to write poetry in elementary school, with each line beginning with a capital letter, or at least each stanza.

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