A word I’ve forgotten how to say.
A word I didn’t want to say until it was over.
I pretend it’s easier to say if I divide the two letters:
All I can think is Natalie.
Blue eyed, long legged sister.
I envy how she can enjoy loneliness,
but deserves to never be alone.
I’d write a novel about her
if the words to describe her
fearless but still breakable heart
weren’t as equally difficult to say as the word no.
She was the first one I went to as those teenage tears rolled down my virgin cheeks.
She was the first to say,
“But did you try to stay with him? Or did you let him slip away”
Since then I know that I’ll never try.
And every no that I never say
breaks her fearless heart in another spot.
Without her even knowing.
Something I used to be a cup full of,
over flowing onto my pessimistic father,
spilling into my mother’s sweet heart,
a twin to my grandfather.
Something I’ve run out of.
Sip by sip,
I’ve been drank up by each individual,
no one getting enough to feel the intoxication
of the innocence that once danced from my brim.
Maybe if I lengthen the word…
Oh there it is.
The sour liquid
that was my re fill.
Everything happens so much.
Everything I never want to happen,
it happens so much.
I let them move their hands up and down,
and down and up.
I think of N again.
Why isn’t she here to say no for me?
I mistake their warm body and warm hands
for the warm hands and warm body,
of someone I could one day maybe bring home.
I think of O again.
This is just all right.
I think of P again.
As he takes off my dress,
he takes off my youth.
As he takes off my tights,
he takes off my beauty.
As he takes off the rest,
he takes off pieces of me.
Pieces ill never have again
to give to someone who isn’t a no,
someone who is a yes.
I think of E again.
I let it happen so much.
I lie to them.
I lie to me.
I pretend the word I want to say is yes.
I pretend I want to act on lust.
I pretend I want to fall in love.
But I think of P again.
I feel neither lust nor love.
It is only something to do,
a story to tell,
another name on my underwear,
another boy who made me feel beautiful,
even though I thought less about him than I did about the snow I brushed off my car to get there.
I think of E again.
Every beating heart I played with,
every beating heart that played with me.
As these nights repeat,
I’m stuck on a two-letter word,
too easy for a first grade spelling bee.
But all I can spell is
Yesterday I didn’t know about today.
Yes is so Effortless.
And then I think of N again.