I am a furry lady,

I say to Tim. He is helping me close the shop tonight.


One time a furry man shaved the breadth of his pelvic area

before having sex with me.


I felt courted like an empress

by the offering of catered buttery balls.


Milk and peaches below the navel.

Why did he do that? I did not mind but


to what inspiration did I owe the pleasure?

Sarah was the perfect human in seventh grade.


She had thick, curly eyelashes and breasts

that bloomed forth from turbulent seeds,


faster than anyone else’s aching nubs.

I tell Tim that one day Sarah came to school with shaved arms.


I went home and, in panicked, shameful solitude,

shaved everything—wiping black razors from the linoleum


with soggy toilet paper before my mom could see.

An eel with swollen nipples.


The hair grew back blunt, irritated, endless.

An episode of abandonment,


an early disconnect with something solid.

I resisted a bit of me that is infinite, there is no negotiation


for omission of these parts, all of them, however benign.

I am beginning to know that


but a knife in place from the past, it gets in the way.

What is it? Like empathy, like infection,


taking on another’s intentions.

Is it stealing? But it hurts.


How often do I conclude that whatever they are doing

it must be better than this.