“In a Committed Relationship With Myself”
I take myself out to dinner and do not look at my phone once. I do not call a friend up and ask them to join me. I listen attentively to the conversation in my head. I walk with myself to the library. Read novels, magazines, dusty collections of poetry. Browse zines online and buy a stack of ones that catch my interest. I close my eyes in bed and put my hands in-between my thighs. Know when to go faster, when to slow down, when to speed it up. I moan without shame. I make myself coffee, sip it languorously on my balcony, let my bare shoulders be warmed by the sun and ignore my neighbor’s sideways looks. I put on lipstick on the days I am not leaving the house. Walk around confidently, wearing only underwear and carelessness. Shake my limbs to the busting beat of a song and do not worry about my arms going one way and my legs another. I bite down hard on “monogamy.” Swish it around in my mouth, run my tongue over its bumps and curves, and then spit it out. I bleed on scraps of paper. Let my thoughts out. Listen to them more intently than any person could. I see all parts of me and do not blush. I do not look away. I do not try to run. I stare deeper. Force myself to keep eye contact. Accept all that is inside of me. Make my apologies. I bend my hands in forgiveness. I rise, dripping in the blood of past and future guilt and say, it is okay. All of you. All of me. It is okay.
– Lora Mathis