I promise no bitterness

reading the final report: One million men and counting surveyed

it’s official — men at any age prefer women in their 20’s

my question: Will you still wheel him to his prostate appointments in heals?

Even if it rains and he gets grumpy because dinner is late?

What will you read when he goes to bed at 8pm? Surely not something by Vladimir Nabokov?

I recall being 21, walking back from a party alone

wolf whistles in the dark, that prickling sensation at my neck

I imagine a deer feels similarly when hunted

the delight of my youth on their lips, like salve for their own decline

in those days I wore a perfume, that doesn’t smell right on me anymore

just as many things fit differently, age out

including the need for approval

I still possess a weakness for older women

the way they don’t know what they stir, like a vintage cocktail

crossing curved ankles, brushing hair from foreheads

the certitude of their years like a veiled fascinator

having been told since 29, they are no longer viable

nor worthy of undivided masculine gaze

I wish I could taint the water with a potion

that would for a day, render all women lesbians

so that for that one day, they could revel

in how another woman reacts when they walk laughing into a room

faded jeans, white shirt, curly hair blown misshapen

forgot to wear silver rings today, Chapstick in abundance

spilt contents of purse, blushing cheeks, long lunch

a good red, leather seats, made you laugh over Trofie al Pesto

twisted in your fork, index finger, hair color of caramel

we lie together in the hotel room later that evening

your skin electric, quivering, in dusk cooling sweat, soft sighs

talking until tomorrow has already denied us rest

the unexpected smile of being seen, desired

not settled for, but chosen, pursued wholeheartedly

touched deeply, slowly, knowledgably; with intention

the night bloom of memory reddening edges

then if you must … go on, heterosexual once more

fodder for a dictate; a gender with youth behind their eyes

hoping men may at: 50, 60, 70 and beyond

find a woman over 29 viable, enticing, first choice

for their flaccid embrace, pills for that, blue and red, mail-order

it’s an irony not more of us are born queer, wishing to

tip the velvet in cities without prescription, sell-by-dates, falsehood

I’m used to it by now —

lesbians are 1 or 2 percent at any given time, nature’s humor

left-handers wildly outnumber us, even have their own scissors

the heaving rooms of women, full cheeked and smiling

not at me, not for me, not at me, not for me

but the largess cockerel in the room

inflated on himself, confident, bandy-legged, he preens and struts

settling on a tight-chested 20-something in gilded corner

ignoring PhDs, ex-dancers, the poets, scientists, metallurgists

who invariably curl inward and detest their ageing skin

just as I raise a glass to the vintage of older women, uncounted

just as I hear her say she’s given up on love, is buying a Pomeranian

I wish I were as bold as the blustering man who leers

down the lurex top of his ex-wife’s-daughters-best-friend

knowing full well she’s just graduated with honors from Penn

if I had that madness I’d grab you, whether you said

you didn’t like girls or not, slapped my cheeks rouge

whether you said, I’ve put that all behind me

nowadays I crochet and take long baths in patchouli

in many ways I’m a-sexual, preferring murder-mystery radio shows

I find after menopause there is less to be excited about, I don’t get the urge

I’d find the very same hotel room I lay in

at 25 watching her shy away from full light

wondering if she shaved all the way up and how

I could send her flowers the next day at work, the confused

language of lesbians in those days, no rule book

just instinct, courage, fingers, lips, intention

when all I wanted to do was open the curtains

and let her see herself, the way I did

beautiful at any age.

29 Replies to “Intention”

  1. Amazing. I was absolutely enthralled. I had to read it twice just to convince myself that it was as fucking fantastic as I believed it to be the first time. Bravo! Bravo!

  2. There’s a temptation to try to respond to this beautifully put, and from the dominant point of view of my gender category, painful truth, with some defense of men. I just can’t think of one for those others. I know and see women, even many who are or may be older then me who are beautiful in so many different ways. The beauty is there at any age to see if you look, to hear if you listen. I don’t know how I learned that. Maybe it came from knowing some lesbians in my life. Maybe it rubbed off somehow?

  3. Feeling very, very seen with this one! I think this is a new favorite. 🥰💜💜

  4. Hehe, i Still Lust
    After my Wife, Close
    To 52 Now As Much

    After

    32 Years Of
    Marriage As
    i Did At “Hey

    19” Yet Anything
    To Do With “Sex”

    Is What
    i Value Her

    For Least
    That Much
    True Love Teaches
    Dear Candie For Real

    And Why i’ve Never
    Even Been Tempted
    Ravaged By A 20 Something Grinding

    Dance
    i Didn’t Even
    Ask For By

    Two Twenty
    Something
    Women Then
    As i Approached
    60 Years-Old Before
    Covid-19 Shut The

    Dance

    Hall
    Down Yes
    There Is
    Temporary
    Heat And Lifelong
    Warmth That Lasts

    Eternally

    Now i Am
    Surely Not
    Just A “Masturbatory”
    Tool To Use Besides

    That
    Poetry
    From The
    HeART
    SPiRiT
    SoUL
    Is A Much
    Larger Turn
    On For me
    Than

    The

    Short
    Term
    Heat
    Of A Grinding Dance
    Although It’s True

    Mother
    Nature
    Is No Lie Either😊🔥

    And To Be Clear Young
    Women Are Exercising
    Their Freedoms Still

    Leaving
    The

    Dance
    Hall With
    The Same
    Girl Friends
    They Came With

    Indeed Nature Changes
    Culturally This Way

    Too
    Where
    Women
    Do Rule The
    World As it Changes too

    Somedays On Top oF iT ALL🏝

  5. You totally get it – always have. I am not knocking men of course, just the male-gaze and how for many, this is the sum of things. It doesn’t effect me or many I know but it’s real – you on the other hand are a glorious exception to every rule my brother

  6. I SO appreciate YOU and thank you for writing this and reading this and supporting me. We just need to stand with each other and support each other through this – life – and we’ll all be better for it. Glad someone appreciates my take on this. Thank you dearling.

  7. You are right. I didn’t put a ‘this doesn’t apply to all men’ at the end or beginning of this poem because I knew any man who knew me would automatically know I’m not whitewashing – though of course if you take it out of context I am. I understand the temptation as I would do the same. It is just the dominant view and not what every man (or woman) would think or feel. There is a painful truth to it but there are huge exceptions. It doesn’t surprise me a wit that you are one of those exceptions my friend – this I knew and this is why you are the wonderful human being you are. I wish it would rub off on others. I don’t know that it’s the lesbian connection but that sounds like a cool bar doesn’t it?

  8. Hell my friend – you’re one of the most alive people I know and I lust after your wife too! he he – I hear you and you know in what vein this is written and I know you get it – and you’re right too – we all all – as you say, the dance. xoxo

  9. SMiles Dear Candie it’s
    So True We aRe Only NoW
    As Young As We aRe aLiVe
    Inhaling Peace Exhaling LoVE iN

    JoY
    oF LiGHT
    How Different
    The World Will
    Be Naked Enough
    Whole Complete
    One Body One
    Blood of

    Love
    Lusting
    For Every
    BREaTHE
    61 Has Never
    Felt Younger
    SoUL HeART
    SPiRiT Ruling
    All In All Love

    Within
    The
    Dance
    And Song
    Free in All
    Flow Now New☺️❤️

  10. I’m surrounded by heterosexuals and rarely gel with homosexuals but that said, in my mind there are isles of lesbians teaching me our history. I think sometimes this must be how it was for women back in the turn of the century. If you have no identifier, you self-identify and a part of you goes inside. Who knows those thoughts? Where do they go? I remember watching SISTER MY SISTER and Cement Garden – and wondering at the locked worlds within – I always find those the most interesting and for all the public vomiting of social media I think people still keep those worlds mostly within them, because what we really want to say, we don’t and what we don’t need to say, we do.

  11. I honestly have been thinking about it and I was grossly unfair. Of COURSE scissors are bi. How thoughtless of me 😉

  12. There is the challenge of art – the things we want to say that either aren’t accepted or for which there are no direct words. What do people do with thoughts, feelings, experience that have no names in their time and place?

  13. I think they have to try – like even if it’s in a weird way – to express it. That’s why I like a lot of experimental art/writing I guess. Even music. What’s the weirdest book you have read?

  14. The weirdest book? Oh, my, so many books. I think that for weird it is hard to beat The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castinadas. Whether it is accurate reporting or fiction (there are arguments about that) it is a mind bender. Then, there’s the I Ching and trying to comprehend the logic of it’s patterns and interpretations.

  15. Not me dear poet. Give me a confident lady. I believe, women are the strongest and best in their thirties. Men also. We had learn what we need and what we are. Need a kind person to make us smile. A person that make us smile. We will love a lifetime.

  16. Thanks. I think I can add one, part of my library since 1959; “Ten Ever-Lovin’, Blue-Eyed Years with Pogo” by Walt Kelly

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