Katie, it’s clear you want to tear through his body like a derailed freight car through a turnip field— forgive me for sounding aggressive. All I mean is recklessness turns you on. Admit it, you love a lawless man: a man who scales mountains without any underwear on; a man who can open you up a stubborn bottle of beer using only his teeth. The art of recklessness is hard to get right— it’s about finesse, which might not make sense to you lately, Katie. You, who scrolls through Facebook all morning, thinking an act of recklessness is sharing the cat video your mom posted on your great aunt’s wall, which you’re watching now for the third morning in a row! Katie, get off your ass & be somebody somebody would like to fuck. This does not make you an object— it makes you Desire itself! Desire, when you want to lure a reckless man do not shout that you’re going to plow through is body like a derailed freight car through a turnip field (the poem began poorly). No, Desire, if you love a reckless man, do not chase him on his tiny misadventures. Let him scale you like a cliff-face only after he’s chased you down your tracks for a good while, eyes wide & mouth open gathering what he can of your madly showering sparks.
For example, what I want to do right now is call up every man I’ve ever slept with & say, I have loved you. Because I have, but you tell me if they wouldn’t hang up the phone. & when a friend tells me the secret to sleeping around is communication, to say, I don’t want to fall in love, I don’t understand. Is it so wrong to fall a little in love with everyone? For example, I love you. & I love you. & him over there in the Mets hat. I love you all. Sue me. I want you all. As they say, I contain multitudes. I contain an enormous amount of space with which I want to fill with as much love as possible. I want to soak you in my longing like a heavy sleet. I want to dig into you like the carpenter bee digs into the wood below my gutter: with persistence & intention to live inside it for a long while. I want to love you like love still means something. I want to love you & I want it to mean you’ll sleep with me & it won’t be weird when we run into each other at the grocery store later this week where I’ll smile & shout, I have loved this man with every ounce of myself! & I want you to hear me— I want you to know how much I mean it.
Katie Condon has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Inprint. Her recent poems appear in or are forthcoming from Indiana Review, New Ohio Review, H_NGM_N, and other journals. Katie is a PhD candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee, and received her MFA from the University of Houston.