“I’m not monogamous”, sounds different to me than “oh yeah, we’re poly” — with a long ‘o’ and a rolling ‘l’ like David Duchovny talking about bloooooogs. Not to skew the sample, but clearly I’m having a word issue today. Aside from the problematic latin/greek roots issue, what bothers me is that it’s a whole lot more work than simply saying no to an insane concept of outdated structures.
The word polyamory implies a history of relationship styles with an almost required hierarchy that is hard to predict. It’s Dottie whispering in my ear that I should be fucking all my friends and it’s Tristan asking me which box I fit into to see if we can be friends. It’s married couples playing with singles while laughing about summer homes, and it’s pony tails and sandals that seem to imply making an effort is the latest sin. I can own my word baggage (I have after all, read the right books) but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Sometimes I think the word ‘honesty’ might be enough to replace it. If I’m being honest, I do want to sleep with that person. If I’m being honest I’m curious to see where it goes because this crush is going to strangle me in my sleep. If I’m honest I don’t want to come home tonight, and if we’re both being honest we’ve learned how to say no a whole lot, even though it’s nearly impossible for us to say no to anything.
But what’s worse than the self-righteously honest? Oh how quaint, we say with a laugh. Why don’t you try telling the truth?
If we’re honest as a culture, people cheat. And if we’re really honest, we understand that we’ve created an entertainment industry based on unhealthy and unsustainable models of love that leave out a whole spectrum of feeling. If we’re honest as a people we’re often afraid, and we desperately hope that the solution to our fear is to hold on tighter and close our eyes.
But instead of saying, “this thing we do as a culture doesn’t work, let’s tear it down,” we’ve said, “let’s create an alternative that feels just as safe but allows a bit more freedom”. Let’s create a new model that we can swallow without having to accept the reality of the mess. The reality that love isn’t safe. That relationships are volatile. The reality that love is always a risk.
There is little difference in what we all do, as much as we’d like to claim some moral superiority based solely on the amount of hours we’ve spent processing with our partners instead of sneaking out on the weekend and fucking a stranger in the park. Some people lie, some people cheat, and some people write contracts that detail every inch of their agreements. But it’s all messy. When we let ourselves fall in love without restraint, when we let ourselves be honest with what we want in both mind and body, and when we let ourselves stop seeking a safe harbor, it’s messy.
But trying to clean up the mess is a sisyphean task of ridiculous proportion. Especially when the mess is what moves us so hard to begin with. Especially when the mess is the part of love that refuses to play our game.
Especially when the mess is the part of love that is bigger than ourselves.
There isn’t a word
for the feel of her lips
on my neck
there isn’t a sound for the whisper
she places in my ear
and there is no taste
like her breast
my teeth biting harder
than before as she
wakes up monsters
that have long
“I want to fuck you in the sunshine,” I whispered, pulling her closer to me. She was standing in front of me, my arms around her waist, in a dress that was so short even the squirrels were looking. She arched her neck and nibbled my ear, her voice teasing and firm.
“What’s stopping you?”
“People, the police, children, insecurity, whatever you have on under this dress. All the normal things,” I said, my hands on her thighs and moving up. The park was crowded, the sun was hot, and there was nowhere to hide. There was nowhere to slip off to and nowhere duck into.
“So, does this help?” she asked, easily wiggling her panties down beneath her dress and stuffing them into her purse. “I mean, that’s one of five. What were the other reasons?”
“I’m not sure I remember,” I whispered, my hand between her legs, feeling her warm and wet from more than just the sun. “And maybe that’s best. Would you stop me? Can I just fuck you right here on the grass, right here in the park, right here in front of the world?”
“You mean in the sunshine?” she asked, turning and facing me, her hand pressed firmly against my hardness. “Can you fuck me here without being afraid? Here without hiding? Here without caring about anything but how much you love and want me?”
“Yes,” I said, struggling to kiss her. Struggling to let the world go, and struggling to not care.
“Don’t be silly,” she said, stepping away. “There are children and cops, and people and stuff. And besides, who has the nerve? I don’t believe you. Trying to fuck me in the park.”
I watched her laugh as she ran off into the brambles, her short dress hiding nothing. I counted to three before following, and there was no turning back.
“Someone is in trouble,” I said, when I finally caught up with her. I was vaguely trying to hide my excitement as I chased her down the path, but it was the least of my worries.
“I certainly hope so,” she said, kissing me once more as we fell to the ground in the shadows.
he does not know
how his lack of effort
moves me to tears
when I am alone
he does not know
how his forgiveness
he does not know
that his kindness
is stronger than words
and his hope is
than the sun setting
over the ocean