they’re uncomfortable
when i call myself a pussy
they shift in their seats
and avoid each others’ eyes

i like pussies
soft and purring
rubbing their headbones under your chin
and falling asleep there

but when i call myself a pussy
it’s a darker place
in the history of my love
and i’m proud to have been there
hidden and wet
sucking all that straight day vitality
out the spine of a man’s life
like a child sucking up
a chocolate shake
through a straw
her smile and the noise she makes
her straw still sucking at the empty glass

what else but pussy
pulls a man out of himself
all his electricity
drowning in my darkness
he becomes suddenly heavy
he may fall asleep
he may light a cigarette
he may suddenly act like a stranger
he may be ashamed
to have let himself go

you can’t make me ashamed
of my darkness
of my wet fertile ground
of my pleasure
that knows
no names

wendy shaffer


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