Words by Laura Stortenbeker. Art by Sam Liacos.
These are men who’ve looked at me…
J in his room, with the poster on the wall that read “tattoo me into your life” His hand up my shirt and his face against mine and smiling with his teeth close to my mouth. “You’re not wearing a bra.” The light in that room was never warm, but it wasn’t about that. It was about how heated can we get, about forms my body hadn’t been in before but would remember.
A man unlocking his bike on a full street in New Orleans. He looked up, looked surprised, said, “Hi.” All that orange light. G kept walking, but I stopped. His face opened up. We stared at each other for what felt like a long time.
JR lighting a candle to find a condom, seeing the flag tacked to the ceiling. He said “It’s not in yet.” I said something about blood. That was the only thing I’d been worried about. I was nervous before I arrived so took a new bus route. His hand on my hair. I was interested in this boy’s body–not just in a sexual way; he was new to me, looked at me with steady eyes. Of course it was easy. Nothing hurt. I called my friends.