“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” “Experience, which destroys innocence, also leads one back to it.” “The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.” James Baldwin
2008 The glass broke the light. Broke it into a million little beams. Each piece carried a piece of me. One had my eye, another my mouth, my feet was in four others, and so on; I was spread across the room. 2005 He didn’t love me, and I knew that. I didn’t love him; he knew that. We didn’t know each other. His face was white like a slug’s underbelly. He was ugly. His lips were nice. His hands were rough. He talked sweet. Said he loved me. “Oh Danny, Danny, I love you. Baby, god you’re good.” I smiled, looked up and said, “I know.” I bent my head back down and continued. Sucking and licking, smelling and tasting pee, knowing cum was just a few seconds away. He politely told me he was close. I took him into my hands, and let him spray on my face. I went to the bathroom. I rubbed it in. 2002 We were in logic together. He was a philosophy major. His tan from summer was fading. We were studying for the test. I offered him lemonade. He said he wanted one from Kentucky. I poured in some tequila; it was all I had. He drank; I drank; we drank. We got drunk. “I love your skin,” he said. I smiled. I knew what was going to happen. I leaned in, kissed his neck. His skin turned cold. “Is this your first time with a guy?” He nodded yes. I laughed; “It doesn’t mean anything. You can bust a nut and like it, or you can bust and stay with pussy; either way, you bust a nut.” I kissed his chest, his arms, his thighs, and took him into my mouth. He reached for a condom; I kept them in a bowl on the coffee table. I let him turn me around. He pushed in me, I didn’t tell him about lube. He moved slowly. I told him “faster;” I told him “harder.” I started to cry. He asked if I was okay. I told him “don’t stop.” He grabbed his clothes and ran out of the apartment when he saw a little blood. I dressed and drove myself to the hospital. When I came back to class the following week, he had dropped. I got an “A” on the exam.
2008 I loved him. He knew that. He didn’t love me. I suspected that. He cares for me; I thought that. We knew each other. His skin looked bright next to me. I looked darker on him. His lips fit mine perfectly. My tongue played with the curly hair on his belly. I breathed hot air from my lungs onto his dick through his jeans. “We shouldn’t do this,” he said. “You know you want to.” His head tilted back and he sighed. I undid his buckle, unzipped his pants and it stood up, proud. I ignored the smell. I kissed it. I never had kissed someone’s before. I kissed it over and over again. I wanted it to last. “Are you ok?” He nodded. “Is this okay?” He nodded. “Am I doing this alright? “Yeah,” he said. “Does it feel good?” “Yes, feels fine,” he said. I wanted him to enjoy it; I wanted to enjoy it. I closed my eyes to feel each part of my mouth stretched by him. I closed my eyes; I ignored him in the back of my mind. I loved Marc; I wanted to enjoy him; it was his birthday. I tried to keep him back in my mind. I love Marc; I wanted to please him on his birthday; I thought I would win him that day; I gave him me. I ignored him moving to the front of my mind. I love Marc; I thought I gave him the best birthday ever, I swallowed when he came; made sure not to miss any drop; it went down smooth; he tasted sweet; I thought he saved me. I didn’t notice the man in my mind. I love Marc; I thought I made him happy; I thought he knew me, knew he was the first who knew my name; he knew I loved him. He stood up, walked to the bathroom and I asked, “Did you enjoy it?” He replied, “Was that your legendary skill?” I was still on the floor; the man stepped foreword and carried me with him back to the back of my mind. I was his; he knew me; he had me; he almost lost me, but never again; Marc didn’t want me; I am his. I know this. I hate him. “Avery, you ok?” I answered, “Yeah, Marc you ready?” “Yes he replied.” He knew I loved him; he knew my name; he knew who I was; he threw me back to him. 1994 Blue mosaic tiles beneath chlorine water crash against soft childhood memories of days spent on English hilltops beneath thick ocean fog. Pale blue doors keep the child locked in a room meant for physical purification. Blue squares dance behind an avalanche of shower water only to later melt in front of a curtain of tears. In the middle of all this blue is he. No name. I can’t recall his face except his freckles, so many freckles. His hair is black and not the Crayola color black, a deeper black. The black of a raven’s feather, his head is
comprised of ravens’ feathers. Raven feathered hair attached to snowy skin that had been dusted with freckles. He is the boy who touched my ankles in the pool and turned a cement pond into one of Eden’s lakes. He talked to me, laughed with me, smiled at me, and followed me into the secluded blue room. There we stood, zebra stripes. He was slightly taller, after all he was 14 and I was only 12. When we kissed, I closed my eyes and saw the rainbow fireworks that shoot into the darkness of your mind when your eyelids are squeezed too tightly. Once we parted, I regained my breath and glanced at our trunks in the corner. He looked at me and I knew what was expected; virginity and I had long since parted ways. I knelt in prayer: “God please forgive me,” and then in that same holy position, I preceded to satisfy my flesh’s hunger. Everything was wrong, unfamiliar in a scary way. The room was too blue. I felt as if I were still underwater. Chlorine traveled my nostrils’ pathways and burned my throat. He wasn’t the boy I had spent time with in the shed, or the dark boy at church whose dad was the pastor, he wasn’t even the classmate I kissed at lunch in the bathroom. He was a stranger with unknown diseases and an unknown history. Images of HIV reports leaked into my brain and concerns pored out of my mouth. “Why is it so Red? I think you’re bleeding.” “What?” “Inside, I think you’re bleeding inside!” “Don’t be stupid, it’s always red.” “Are you sure?” “Positive.” “I dunno, and there are spots.” “It’s ok, I promise.” I sucked in a deep amount of oxygen to brace myself; it is just like a lollipop. I leaned forward and placed my hands on his thighs but I had to stop. “I don’t think I can do this.” I rose and turned to get my trunks and then on my wrist I felt the fingertips of desperation, “come on you can’t stop now!” “I’m sorry, I gotta go, my little brother is waiting outside.” “Don’t cha like me?” “I do, but…” “Then what’s the problem?” I felt his kisses on my neck, shoulders, and back. His hands on my waist, finger tips by my navel. I closed my eyes and again I saw the rainbows, I can do this. Then I felt him prod places he was never invited. “Stop…” Silence, except for the sound of water hitting the floor. I could feel him inside and outside me. His hands on my shoulders, his knees
against my thighs, his thighs thrusting, his breathe on my neck, hot and moist. “Stop…” The rainbows had stopped firing; my eyes were stretched open now. I could feel the red panic rising inside of me, thoughts racing across my mind. No condom, HIV, what is happening, NO CONDOM, forgive me, I’m sorry, Please Forgive Me! All color faded except the blueness of the tiles. I can’t see their shapes but I know they are square; they were square earlier. I can feel the hot tears begging to rise to the surface while icy water flows over my checks. “STOP; STOP; STOP IT; PLEASE STOP!” My hand pushed on his thigh and I felt him slide out of me. I rushed to grab my trunks and put them on in a hurry. I turned to him and looked at him. Naked and wet. Raven feathers drooping over a dirty snowman’s face. “If you ever come near me again, I will scream and have you thrown out of here.” “What’s wrong?” “I mean it.” “Huh?” I unlocked the door and grabbed my little brother’s hand, and we walked home. I stepped into the shower at home and scrubbed and scrubbed until I thought the memory of blue was washed away. 2006