I once read the eyes of a man who wanted me down on my knees in prayer but that’s not what he said. What he said was, The color of your lips burns in me like fire. There was a darkness in his taste which I knew instinctively how to touch, to grasp not with hands but with the rhythm of my breathing. There were desires swirling in his eyes, as he knew exactly what he wanted, and how to take it swiftly when granted the chance. In his deliberate movements, his elegant, torturous stare, there played the low music of seduction. There is a dance we play out as the days go by and we learn to trust ourselves a little more and everybody else a little less until we finally decide none of it matters in the end anyway so we might as well get on with whatever it is that makes our little melancholy hearts race. How ironic the way they act as though to be a writer means nothing at all but how much they’d have to say if you said all the things you want to say without looking first for permission. Having grown up in a religious household that will do it to you good, mess with your sense of shame, degradation, indignity. Nothing gives you a lust for misbehavior like being told all the naughty acts which will send you to hell for all eternity. The rain is coming down steady and cold in the darkness, just to listen to it sliding down the window pane is enough to make me pull up the blankets and shudder. Placing my fingers upon the warmth of myself I remember the first time I discovered the sweet secret urge and worked myself into discovering euphoria, finally breathing in quick ecstatic flutters like a brand new butterfly, sated all alone in awe and release. In joy and defiance I took myself over and over again. We are not so shameful as they would have us believe. We should not be as quiet as they hope we’ll be. Deep inside, you hold every single answer you seek, you just have to look where you have been told never to go. Open those hidden doors, realize all along you have held the golden key. What they are afraid of is not how beautiful you are but that you might somehow learn to believe in such beauty, to trust in your own hunger, your own naked desire. I think of the man with the eyes which flickered over my entire body before he took my jaw in his hand. How electric that made me feel, the effect so sharp with pleasure and pain it made me gasp for air.