Forget the images you've learned to attach To words like cock and clit, Chest and breasts. Break those words open Like a paramedic cracking ribs To pump blood through a failing heart. Push your hands inside. Get them messy. Scratch new definitions on the bones.
Get rid of the old words altogether. Make up new words. Call it a click or a ditto. Call it the sound he makes When you brush your hand against it through his jeans, When you can hear his heart knocking on the back of his teeth And every cell in his body is breathing. Make the arch of her back a language Name the hollows of each of her vertebrae When they catch pools of sweat Like rainwater in a row of paper cups Align your teeth with this alphabet of her spine So every word is weighted with the salt of her.
When you peel layers of clothing from his skin Do not act as though you are changing dressings on a trauma patient Even though it's highly likely that you are. Do not ask if she's "had the surgery." Do not tell him that the needlepoint bruises on his thighs look like they hurt If you are being offered a body That has already been laid upon an altar of surgical steel A sacrifice to whatever gods govern bodies That come with some assembly required Whatever you do, Do not say that the carefully sculpted landscape Bordered by rocky ridges of scar tissue Looks almost natural.
If she offers you breastbone Aching to carve soft fruit from its branches Though there may be more tissue in the lining of her bra Than the flesh that rises to meet itLet her ripen in your hands. Imagine if she'd lost those swells to cancer, Diabetes, A car accident instead of an accident of genetics Would you think of her as less a woman then? Then think of her as no less one now.
If he offers you a thumb-sized sprout of muscle Reaching toward you when you kiss him Like it wants to go deep enough inside you To scratch his name on the bottom of your heart Hold it as if it can- In your hand, in your mouth Inside the nest of your pelvic bones. Though his skin may hardly do more than brush yours, You will feel him deeper than you think.
Realize that bodies are only a fraction of who we are They're just oddly-shaped vessels for hearts And honestly, they can barely contain us We strain at their seams with every breath we take We are all pulse and sweat, Tissue and nerve ending We are programmed to grope and fumble until we get it right. Bodies have been learning each other forever. It's what bodies do. They are grab bags of parts And half the fun is figuring out All the different ways we can fit them together; All the different uses for hipbones and hands, Tongues and teeth; All the ways to car-crash our bodies beautiful. But we could never forget how to use our hearts Even if we tried. That's the important part. Don't worry about the bodies. They've got this.