WHAT WOMEN LOOK FOR IN MEN:
will you still hold me after sex when my legs are shaking and I can hear the world creeping in between my eyelids and my stomach starts churning with every word my parents raised me on - will you be able to kiss the taste of communion wine off of my lips while I’m lying there, thinking of what my God is going to do when he sees how often I’ve been on my knees. In the shower the morning after will you hear how sad I am instead of expecting head, will you ask why it is that recently I’ve pulled into my mind so I don’t laugh with my whole body anymore, just the parts you’re looking for, will you still want to get naked with me once I’ve broken down and become empty in front of you, once I can’t hide behind dim lights and good angles and quick jokes that are more self-deprecating than they should be, will you still pull me to your chest if halfway through sex I start sobbing because my grandfather is in the hospital and dying and I feel like my entire family hates me and if they knew what I was doing they would put me out on the street, would you say “I love you” and mean it beyond wanting a night full of passion and hickies - because I’d really rather you skip the lie and just sleep with me - would the face you show me be the same one you have in front of your buddies or is this all some act to get me comfortable, would you listen to the space in between words where I say things that aren’t audible, would you care enough to know that I’ve been faking being whole, would you sit and expect nothing from me on the days where the blackness in my soul swallows up everything so I can’t even get out of bed without regretting that I am still breathing, would you be there for me because
my daddy raised me to believe that all men leave. You package our hearts in small white takeout boxes and then exeunt stage left, cackling in the darkness. You kiss us like we’re the only thing on your mind and text your side chick when we fall asleep. You say you’ll treat us like a princess when I’ve only ever wanted to be equal. Men leave once they get what they want, my daddy told me. You can’t keep him if he’s not trying to scrape something out from the inside of your palms. Don’t be so emotional, don’t be a burden, don’t get mad at how he treats other girls. “The mistake all women make,” my father told me, “Is thinking they can change men. It just doesn’t happen.” I think about this while I’m washing our dishes and you raise your voice about something small. I think about this every time you kiss me without noticing I’m hurting. My daddy said all men are pigs but
my momma once pushed back my hair and told me that the only thing to look for in a man is someone that would make me happy. She said we fall in love an average of eight times before we find the one we stick with. She said a little pain is gonna happen now and then. She said that my daddy is a good-for-nothing cynic and needs to maybe drink some tea and calm down a little, she said that even if I got left behind seven hundred times, I am still her daughter and that means I am strong as this Earth’s crust. She said you’ve just gotta put your faith in the universe. Just let go. Just trust.
WHAT WOMEN LOOK FOR WHEN LOOKING FOR LOVE:
just somebody who would make us feel good enough.”