Your back is to me:
freckled, aging,
strangely and unacceptably vulnerable.
So I stroke gently,
fingertips tracing  neck, collarbone,
shoulder, the knobs of your spine
down, down below the blanket
to the cleft of your backside,
again and again.


You sigh and murmur
a string of sleep-dowsed syllables
as you turn to me,
slide arms and legs under and around
and pull me tight against you.

The bones of your skull press against my cheek.
I feel the roughness of your beard,
the warmth of your breath.
The needfulness in you
lulls me to false and forgetful security
and I hold you hard.

Stupid me.

Your body twitches – restless, resisting.
The sounds you make now are feral,
displeasure coming
from a place below words.
You push yourself away
to lie, sprawling, on your back.

But still.

Your arm is around my shoulders and
again you pull me close and snug.
I reach for your not-quite-soft cock,
stroke it the way you have taught me,
cajole it to impatient hardness.

But you decline my invitation,
yawning and stretching into wakefulness
and dropping a kiss on my forehead
before you roll out of bed
to get ready for your date.


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Catch and Release

Look at me, you say.
Look at this.
Your hands sweep down your body
From face to groin,
Presenting yourself.
A grand theatrical response
To her timid proposal to break up.

Handsome. Brilliant. Witty.
Charming. Sexy.
You tick the qualities off on your fingers,
A reassuring inventory of desirability.
She knows I’m a catch, you tell me,
And no one fucks her like I do.


You are all those things and
No one fucks like you.
The competition to land you
Is sometimes fierce but always there;
You have the luxury of choosing your captor.

Because you’re right, I nod in acknowledgement,
But I do not ask:
What about honesty? Loyalty?
Integrity? Self-discipline?
The willingness to put another’s needs before your own?

Because I love you, I do  not say:
You have the qualities that make people want
To catch you,
But not the qualities that make people want
To keep you.

So once again,
Someone who has caught you
Wants to release you
And you are struggling
To stay in the net.

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The Darkness floated over me;
An inky blanket made of spider webs
That snapped open above me,
Hovering mid-air
Then settling gently down.

It draped itself
Over my face, my arms, my legs,
My body.
Sticky and staining,
It sealed my ears and eyes,
Stopped my breath,
Enveloped my brain,
Miring my thoughts
Holding me
Under its infinite gossamer weight.

Hurt me, I begged.
Please. Hurt me.


You hurt me.
Made me cry, made me bleed,
Gave me pain and tears and blood,
And brought me
Back to life.

Photography: Working Class

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Knots and Twos

Not serene
or confident
or unshakably self-possessed,

Not tall
or slender
or gracefully athletic,

Not dark haired
or dark eyed
or gifted
with a boy/not-boy body
or one that’s lush and zaftig –
all the shortcuts
to your desire
and your heart.

Too jagged, me.
Too messy,
too timid, yet
too compulsive –
wound way too tight.

Too short,
too stocky,
too awkward;

too blonde
and too blue eyed
too average,

too compliant,
not compliant enough.

Mostly, though,
too available.

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When I hear the flogger splay hard on her bare back,
and the cane slice the air, eager to welt her naked ass,
and the whip curl around the flesh of her hip to bite her belly,
and the sound of your palm, flat and self-satisfied on her backside or thigh or face;

when she whimpers and she bellows
and she sighs and she screams
and she begs for more and you give her more –

whoever the current her or she happens to be;

when you tell me that I am a Very Important Person in your life,
and I tell you I want to whimper and sigh and bellow and scream and beg,
and you turn away;

the pain overwhelms me.

I must call red and safeword out of us.

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“I am”, I said…

The rooms are empty,
not a trace of their former occupants.
Empty Nest






No smells, no sounds,
no clothes littering the floor –
no clothes anywhere.

No shoes,
no too-old-for-you heels or gigantic sneakers.

No music or voices,
no toys or books or beloved animals,
no phones or laptops or game gear,
no chargers to lose or cables to trip over.
No posters on the walls,
not even thumbtack holes
or painted over tape.

No ghosts. None.

It is more than
those who were here are now gone.

It is as though none of them
had ever existed
and that is worse.

I found someone’s sock (dirty)
and a pair of panties (clean)

I cried for hours but the world is right again.

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The Colors of Aloneness










Photographer: Working Class






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