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Feb 2019
***
***
a word so bad
it didn’t even need
four letters

they told us
to wait for
our future husbands
to treat the boys we
dated as if they
belonged to someone else

that if we wouldn’t do it
with our parents in the room
it wasn’t okay
to do at all

that there was
some kind of higher
spirituality achieved
by celibates and singles
but of course that
couldn’t be for everyone
(as if needing human
companionship made you weak)

******* would send
you to hell and
of course the gays were
already there

that our virginity was the most
important part of ourselves
and losing it before due time
was the worst thing we could do
but all would be better
if we said we were sorry
swore never
to do it again

there were contracts
pledges, oaths
and jewelry
if you didn’t have
a ring you weren’t
doing it right

purity
virginity
words thrown around like
hand grenades into foxholes
as insurance policy against
pregnancy and stds

a barrage against the
onslaught of our culture
morality reduced to making
guys and girls sit on
different sides of the room
and debates in the mirror
over the length of skirts
and scoop of necklines

for something we weren’t
supposed to do
they sure made us think
about it an awful lot

meanwhile
back home in our own
bedrooms all the songs
on our radios and
the movies on our tvs
told us a very different story

somewhere along the line
i got so confused i
convinced myself i never
wanted *** at all
when i finally felt
desire stirring
in the pit of my stomach
it was terrifying

i thought since i
had never felt it
that made me immune
but it really just made me
in deep
deep denial

a denial that persisted
through late evenings
of exploring another
person’s body
learning to trust someone
with my own

they told us until we said
i do
there was no reason
to believe anything would last

and some nights i can’t sleep
with worrying about
some inevitable burning and
collapse of the building called us

i feel my parents’ gazes boring
right through my chest and
hope they never find out
what i’ve been doing

turtlenecks to cover the stain
of love notes on my neck
having something on
my body to hide
takes me back to being fifteen
and the judgement of strangers
a dead weight in my stomach
and sweaters past my palms

but the feeling of your lips
and hands and breath
in my ear and for a few minutes
i don’t care that tomorrow
i’ll be trying to forget
that i’m not as pure
as they once told me
i would stay

but i am no longer
in denial
only suffocating
in guilt
copyright 2/7/19 by b. e. mccomb
b e mccomb
Written by
b e mccomb  23/F/finally home
(23/F/finally home)   
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