Russell

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Hi, I'm Russell, I guess. Here's some things.

Written on the Fletch

when i was cupid
    lying lonely in my bed
i shot an arrow
    through my bedroom window
and through the window
    came an arrow

it shot me straight in the heart
    my heart goddamnit!

how terrible!
how beautiful!
how it was you all along

(trigger warning, btw)

doc says there's no cure for "sex is like giving someone a handshake and watching them twitch out in ecstasy"

with my lips i scrawl every harbored fever of passion
    against the cool smoothness of her neck
        until it flows that sweat heat and heaves her breath
    lifting her breasts next—boys only 
        want one thing—to the cusp of my tongue
            which patiently ticks in harmony
                to the patterned beauty of her gasping lungs

i pull away to brush my hands along the gorgeous fullness of her
    sliding firm fingers beside her strong hips
        so that light tickle fickles up her nerves—keep your boy
            away from my daughter—as my kisses scale up her skin
                her soft toes crinkle against stubbled remnants
                her aching calves quiver to balming lips
                her thick thighs spread under hot breath

when she grabs the dick i never wanted
    and begs it inside i comply
and wonder when any other part of me will be touched
    or if my mascara meant—you're such
        a fucking perv'—anything
    or if i didn't shave close enough
        or if i shaved too close
or if my waxed legs still inspire no desire
    the way hers do in effortless moments
        when they drape over the mattress corner
            and someone all on their own comes up and kisses them
and i noticed she grazed my chest once
    her painted nails against—you don't make
        me feel special—its flatness and matted fur
            but maybe it was more in reach?

and the trespass of myself into the—you have
    to protect her purity—feels like nothing still
(after all those teenage years cutting
    for disappointing—after all the lord done
        for you—by slipping purity rings
            off unforgivingly idle hands
and it still feels like nothing still—at least you weren't
    slut shamed—not a single thing)

and i want to cry
    but i laugh: so i'm still a man aren't i
and i splurt out chuckle after chuckle
    hoping they'd sound like giggles
        (they never do)

and every partner always shyly sweetly asks "why are you laughing"
    and i always think why am i fucking
        but i say it's just because i'm the nerd boy
            who never thought he'd be worth a woman like you
        instead of it's not you it's
            a history of—my therapist says you
                have intimacy issues—everything at once

(but i really just want a good fuck don't i
    and i shake to think it'll never be you
and maybe i oughtta cum early so this all stops
    and maybe i oughtta play terrible in bed
        so i don't have to play the untouchable toucher
            but i remember the final slams of their bedroom doors
                and you deserve a good fuck too
                    because you've got what i don't

but couldn't i have a different body
    if not one with a womb to nurture
        then at least one that feels you right

and am i fucking in gratitude for the moment of slender purse strap
    hooped over my shoulder when you went to the bathroom
or the teddy bear socks you let me wear
    in the pillowed fortress of your room
        with the blinds shuttered)

and she leans back into the fuck
    and convulses like she were speaking tongues
and i watch in curious senselessness
    like becoming an apostate all over again

Yeah, so that's sex. Or, it was up until a few years ago when I decided I wanted to do a shoot. I'm not sure to what extent it still is. I think I wanted to prove to myself that I could figure out how to feel sexy, but I don't think I did. I did feel like I looked sexy, sometimes. I think it's probably just hard to feel that way when your feelings around gender and sexuality are intense but transient or surreal or absent. Or that purity culture just necessarily fucks you up for life, and the best you can hope for is to prevent your hypothetical future kids from having to deal with that shit. I definitely enjoyed the experience of being photographed like this, in a kind of innocent and giggly awkward way.

Or, I think 25 year old me wanted to see more genderfluidity represented and 28 year old me just wants to sleep but felt like I owed it to younger versions of myself.

Maybe I just wanted a photo album to look back on as a 70 year old and be like "Yeah, I was hot and dumb and fucked up."

Anyway, this is something I've written a bit more recently. I think it's an optimistic outlook on aging and love.

Match

As I hold a candle before you
    its scent unlabeled
        yet familiarly discoverable

I tell you
    oh how these candles once simpered
        enlightened me to dulcet smiles
        in flickers of pale light
    between our simmering eyes

I tell you
    oh how these candles once whimpered
        hummed up a graying line
        to soothe me through the night
    amidst our whispered goodbyes

I must warn you
    my teeth are more resin than ivory
        their crowns are coming in next week
            and next month
                and probably many more times
    my heart murmurs rather than coos
        it twitters unabated
            regardless of pates
    my lungs skip breaths
        it has nothing to do with you
            they just do that now
    my eyes may only capture you
        the way photographers capture big foot        

My brain too 
    has a cavity
        where festering memories burrow
        excruciate my nerves
        and mutate undecodably
but it is also
    a deep well
        of earned workarounds
        to horrendous truths

My heart cannot follow a love
    if to hell we veer
but it beats like a war drum
    when omens draw near
My lungs cannot chase a love
    whose cold feet send them aflight
but they hold steady and calm
    through the trials of a fight
My eyes cannot behold a love
    with unbridled adoration
but they will study our flaws
    and offer seasoned navigation

As I hold a candle before you
    its scent fading
        yet hopelessly young

I ask you
    would you like to take
        your worn matchbook
            and be a little brighter
                with me?

(But what about my teeth, you ask?
    Oh no
    those are fucked
    I was hoping you forgot about them)

Thanks. Have fun out there. Be good.

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