A Sort of Poem By An Asexual By Salma Deera

A Sort of Poem By An Asexual

i can’t imagine wanting you to touch
me the way lovers discover each other’s bodies
at midnight.
my body caves in on itself at the thought of it,
my body becomes an unpeeled clementine running
around the bedroom trying to find its skin.
sex for me, is the chef who has stumbled into
my kitchen to make me a dish i never wanted,
peeling potatoes, peeling onions, and frying them
together—
i can’t find the nerve to tell this chef that i hate
it when my food touches,
but i’ve been brought up to eat what is put in front of me
and not complain.
but this isn’t about food, this is about sex.
you see, sex, to me, is when your date orders your drink for you
and happens to pick the one that makes you gag.
sex is the cake with so much icing that i can’t even
remember what flavour the cake was supposed to be.
but love.
love is the un-iced cake i like that you buy for me on sundays.
love is the boiling sound of a kettle in the morning.
it is the book you read to me with my head on your lap
and your innocent eyes getting distracted when i laugh.
it is the body sleeping next to me that’s always
been perfectly fine being beside me instead of on top.
love is the gentle nod when I say, ‘can you hold me this way instead of that?’
love is the secret glances that don’t lead us to sex
but to each other over and over again,
it is the humdrum everydayness of having your own
someone that knows when you wake up and how
you like to brush your teeth half standing, half sitting.
when our friends ask us “well what about the silence
the absence of sex leaves behind?”
we ask them, “what silence?”
the only silence we’ve experienced is at midnight
when most people’s bedrooms are nothing but silent.
but us? we are peering at each other in our half dark room,
cocooned into this little piece of land under the stars where
we are touching the only way we can—
where nothing is really silent at all.

By Salma Deera

Biography:

Salma Deera is a Kenyan born poet of Bavanese descent. She is based in London and is an English Literature graduate. Her first poetry collection, Letters from Medea, was published in October.

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