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After Reading DJ Khaled Will Not Perform Oral Sex On His Wife Despite Demanding That She Must, I Consider My Relationships

to pleasure, praise. The first time
I touched myself, it was spring
and the dogwood outside
heady with blooming.
I thought God was what opened
inside me; I thought
God. The first time a boy
touched me, he said I could
rape you, if I wanted—I thought pleasure
was that he didn't. I thought his
rapaciousness praise.
I prayed my desire
away, but worshipped
my pain. I told every boy
it was my first time. I told God
it was my last time. Pleasure:
to seem good. The first time
a boy pried me open,
we were under a tree. It was the season
of praise. If you are holding it down
for a woman—if you are holding a woman
down. The root of the root
of king means king. The root of the root of queen
means prostitute. I was
rooted in place. I was
on my knees like a supplicant, on my knees
like a subject. I was
never subject, I was object, I didn't object,
when I opened my mouth
it was not language that came.
There's some things that y'all might not wanna do,
but it's got to get done. The boy who forced me
forced me because he was not my first.
His name meant rule
with mercy. When I first learned
mercy it was through a man
touching me kindly. That
simple. It took such a long time.
The first time a woman
wanted, God showed her no mercy.
The knowledge of God
was pleasure, which He wanted
kept to Himself. The first woman
stood before the tree as her hunger
opened. The knowledge of pleasure
she did not keep to herself. The story is how
she called to her husband.
Said come here and eat.

- Leila Chatti (from Frontier Poetry)