air-mattress

This was the other side. Everything was infuriating, everyone guilty. The days were long and morning came too soon, and the sun crept toward the bodies of those girls hidden under blankets, those girls now questioning their worth, those girls who once laid on air-mattresses with their sweethearts that flattened during the night, in college or in med school or while he was unemployed, in those days he could not afford a bed. So we filled them with confidence, with time, with money, to make him big enough, strong enough, and we could not know that one day this confidence we sculpted would make him eager to leave.

They did not tell us that love was not something you could throw away once finished. That it would remain on us like blackened scars, underneath blouses and in those places only we could see. That we would reach a point where it, once solid, would melt in our hands and we would never fully wash off its residue; and some love, the truest love, also the most dangerous, could disfigure our core.

When we were children and they spoke of it, we did not fully understand. They had different conversations with the girls than they had with the boys. They separated us into rooms divided by thin walls where we could still hear the boys laughing as they explained our parts, the unmentionable parts, the parts between our legs that were rude to speak of, and when we giggled our way through our questions the teachers mentioned love, but we did not fully understand it. So our parents tried to explain it and they spoke of love in that creamy, sterilized way, stripped of those parts that were rude to speak of, and because they censored our parts, neglecting mention of those juices and stiffening limbs, we did not believe the bigness that they spoke of. We ignored the rage in their eyes. So we went to films, and we went to music, and we gathered our friends, other girls and boys in those separated rooms, and we shared our misunderstanding, and we built it up, constructed it, all of us, until its shadow was too vast to deny. And we, once little girls and boys, were now 21 and 25 and 28 and 32, and we were angered that the reality of our lives and our loves did not live up to that haunting, beautiful, impossible shadow.

wayetu moore, love/woman/thirty @ the rumpus