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.

1 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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