He tells me I’m cute,

makes cat calls

when my hips rumble by,

but I don’t believe him.


I want to be told I’m beautiful

because he notices the way my

curls drape over my shoulders,

because my smile makes him smile,

because in my eyes he sees the

woman that’s awakening inside.


I don’t believe him when

he holds me, I feel like a

load in his arms, as if

he is doing me a favor.


I don’t believe him when

he kisses me.

The yearning for the gentleness

of a playful kiss lingers

longer than the shadow of his lips.


I want to be kissed,

hard, with intention,

the way a hummingbird

approaches honeysuckle.


I don’t believe his hands as they

travel through the cambers of

my body so obtrusively, I won’t

dare to slow them down,

invite them to explore and play.


When he touches me, I want him

to take his time, the way the fog

caresses the mountains and sacred

valleys of Peru. Imprint every curve

and ridge of my topography

in his mind.


I don’t believe in his silence.

When my heart speaks its truth,

my words are met by the timber

of his preoccupation.


I want his presence

the way the tree shelters the birds

in its arms,

the way the sun

validates the moon,

the way

the conch holds the sound of

the ocean.


I don’t believe him when he

says he loves me.

He doesn’t look long enough

into my eyes for me to catch

the movement of his lips.


It’s a phrase spoken from habit,

fills up space and time.

Not enough to forget that a

second ago, I wondered why

we stay together.


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