I have loved others.
I have given my heart
and body
and mind to others.
My days were spent
with men who held my hand
and whispered love
into my ear.
Five men carried my heart
in their fingers,
and I loved each one
with a different piece of myself.


He was first
and sweet
and younger than me.
His devotion was endless,
his strong thighs were taut
beneath my learning hands.
He played soccer
and he was beautiful.

He said he fell in love
with someone else.
We were in high school.
What did I expect?


Friendly conversations
that lead to infatuation,
I was obsessed.
His tall frame towered over me,
making me feel small and beautiful.
I lost myself
in his dark eyes
and I also lost my self-worth.

I told him I loved him
in the back booth
of a Denny’s
and he went and
fucked my friend.


Mutual benefits ended in love
and died in my first apartment
under a pile of bills
and surrounded by fair-weather friends.
I tried because he loved me
so much
and he wanted to make a life.

I left him for number four.


He must be left til the end.


We met by accident
and stayed because it was easy.
And then we married
because it was easy
and because my aunt was dying.
And he takes care of me
and comforts me. I
can’t imagine life without him
because he is my best friend.
And here we are so many years later.

And I’m still thinking about Four.


I love him
with an absoluteness
that consumes the others
and transforms them
into heaps of ashes.
He scorches my skin
with his touch
and I melt
beneath his fingers.
He is not only
my heart
but my soul.

I have loved others
but he is
my permanence,
my absolute,
the love that shadows
all others.


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