when i was five i learned that if two male
betta fish are placed in the same tank,
they’ll rip each other to complete shreds.
i want to be honest with you
so your fists remind me of betta fish
and i know some folks find this awkward
but i don’t want you to say yes
because you’ve been told saying no
rips your masculinity to shreds
and i know you don’t want me
looking for my virginity in the back of your van,
watching the tape holding your side-view mirror seize
in the wind, but, as for now, we can split the last shot
if you promise to be more boy than betta fish.
you know i can patch a hole in the wall
so long as it’s not from your knuckles – don’t
lie to me.
tell me if your mind changes. it’s okay
if your mind changes. cross your heart
and hope to die. tell me your thoughts, lovebug.
freshman year i learned male dragonflies always mate
with a consenting female, but that’s not true.
tell me your thoughts, lovebug.
the first boys i kissed were liars
but now i sometimes imagine lying
next to you, your eyes no longer glinting
blue to green like scales
and our warmth radiating, sharing –
because i would have told you my thoughts
and you’d have told me yours.
we’d be more human, more humane
than dragonflies –
because i love you,
i want you to feel free to say no.
i want to feel free to say no.
i know i shouldn’t feel the need to thank you,
but thank you,