(Not) An Ode to Past Lovers

It has been so long since I have been held
by a man who respects women.
I have been in their beds,
no sheets, dust settling like a sheen on my body.

Men who took.
They promised me delicate adoration,
but I was left used and pressed into the mattress
like an old flower between the pages of a worn book. Destined to be forgotten, a faded novelty.

The princes I consumed in fairytales
were exchanged for wrinkled plaid shirts,
rusted pocketknives and kisses as bitter as the coffee
I consumed the morning after.

I searched for love in faces that left me
with nothing but red, tender lips and
an (empty) promise to text me later.
Ghosts are more reliable than any Josh.

Lust filled and emptied my cup as quick as I drank it.
I was fuzzy, chasing pleasure like a drug.
The pleasure always fades.
Awoken by the morning sun, I make a promise
to return home to myself.
More love awaited me in the sanctuary
of my own body than next to anyone else.

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