Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-five
Summer 2014
Shay Lessman

We were in the basement watching cartoons recorded on old tapes

           and my hands were keeping to themselves

           and your hands were keeping to the waist of my jeans

           and I should have checked in upstairs ten minutes ago

           but instead you were eying my zipper

           and I was giving you the “you can look but don’t touch” glance

           and yet down went the zipper

           and down went your hands

           and down came my mother as I quick sat up

           and you were suddenly across the room

           and my cock was still out

           and the blanket we usually hid under was in the wash

           and I was pale

           and Mom was pale

           and you were awkwardly walking past her to go smoke a cigarette

           and there I was, alone with my mom

           and Tom and Jerry were on

           and I would have rather been watching them the whole time

           and going upstairs to check in when I was supposed to

           and not being subjected to hand checks at random

           or having my mom walk downstairs and seeing my penis

but that’s not really how it worked when I was sixteen

                      and the girl I was with was more experienced

                      and commanding

                      and when she wanted to touch me I let her

                      because she was my first girlfriend

                      and she was tougher than me

                      and admittedly, I was a little scared of her

                      and I let her get away with things like smoking weed

                      and fucking guys she knew would buy her beer

                      and climbing on top of me after I told her I wanted to wait

                      because who was I to say no

                      or get up and leave the room when she shot up?

I didn’t have her permission to leave the basement sofa

           so I watched Bugs outwit Elmer until the tapes stop working

           and her mouth was at my neck

           and she started using teeth

           and insisted we make a porno

           and that I go down on her while she pulled my hair

           and I listened for footsteps on the stairs

           and hoped I could get her there quick

           and she’d want to head home

           and smoke a bowl with her ex

           and I would stay in the basement watching Speedy Gonzalez

           and Pepe Le Pew

           and think about how lucky he is because he repulses the black cat

           and yet his pursuit of love scared me

           because he was aggressive

           and didn’t stop kissing her when she was pushing him away

           and she was unable to say no to him

           and I have to stop watching.

About Shay Lessman

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