There was a veinal thrill in the months between fourteen and seventeen. There had been hints at it earlier; at twelve, ten, perhaps even seven if my memory has not betrayed me. To revel in the sheer, innocent lasciviousness of being a young girl was to look in from outside. To eroticize the self as desirable object, porcelain doll, coveted colt.

Driving me home from a group gathering at Shari's: a young liar with a ponytail played music to appeal to me, woman-child, and agreed with me that age had nothing to do with mental maturity. Yes, especially for dating. Everyone else was dropped off, the pedagogue's car lifting from its load of jealous children. Not jealous of me or of him, but with the avarice of youth in a small town. We wanted to Move to Seattle. We wanted to be artists, actors, designers. We needed these things, or the thoughts of them, to sustain the fevered pace of our waiting.

He asked for my phone number. I do not know now whether I gave it to him or not, but I received a phone call from him later, at home, when his pheromones had ceased their threat or their intoxication (for it is a mixture of both with the older men, always). I was frightened and pleased at once. This time I had teased too much, beguiled the wrong mark; someone who did not have the failsafes of societal conditioning. My thirteen was not a taboo. He received a phone call from one of my large male friends and never spoke to me again. I had won after all.

A year later, that large male friend seduced me with anger and devotion, still far older than I, old enough to know better. I knew better, but was not old enough to act on that knowledge. I was old enough to writhe under his long hands with their curiously wide nailbeds until all hours of the morning. Old enough to pleasure him, too, delighted with my absolute power over his body and the way my pulse raced so that I felt I would faint. My body did not know the correct sensations to feed my brain. I learned over the course of months what it was to know all those tremblings. Pain was filed under Pleasure; for years afterwards it was difficult to tell the difference in context. My mons veneris was only dusted with hair, and that was soft as the first coat on a foal.

While my denial and ignorance insulated me, I was happy. Not just content, but spilling over with a kind of mad glee. Eventually I protected myself and he properly deflowered me in a tiny studio apartment in Bellingham. There was an awkward shower after that, and pain. Pain for days afterwards, and for the rest of my time as his girl. It would fade and be renewed, retorn, sometimes bloody but always taken in stride until it all began to crumble at the end, as these things are wont to do.


So I shed that skin, and writhed into the lap of a poet. That was a love forged in thunder, and we should have known the signs. Older still than the last one, and armed with words he wielded like venom. We tore at each other through three states; adoration, agony, and indifference kept me rapt for three years.

I was his Rosetta Stone; he carved as many languages as he knew into my flesh. Only when he finally deposited me, frigid and bleeding, at the mercy of my own strength, I began to erode his cuneiform. It is still legible, at my discretion.