Sex After Kids, 2012

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



August 14, 2012