A Theory of Intimacy by Destiny O. Birdsong

Sometimes I want a man not to touch me.
I want us to sit on opposite ends of the couch
And eat Doritos, like that time me and David emptied
The box of ice cream bars in his jeep outside Walgreens.
I was twenty and my stomach would take anything.
Sometimes I want a man to wrap himself around me
So tightly that I forget where I end. Or that I have
An end, and I become the whole room: tympanic, with granules
Of starlight singing in me like shards of milk.
At sixteen I thought cramps and sadness would kill me.
They could walk through me at any moment; I was an airport chapel
Of dimmed lights and poems written by white men, and they
Were as formless as the demons who carried away Tony Goldwyn
In Ghost. Men I still love have turned into these. Sometimes,
I come close enough to watch them sleeping
Just to see if I can detect the moment it happens.

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