This is how she sleeps

Gently. With curves of her curled
like ferns nestled in wet moss.
A delicate fingertip like baby’s
breath, like a bluebell, like
a forget-me-not dangling

nearby. I memorized her breath.
The cadence, the rhythm. I
memorized her heartbeats, how
many pulses it took for her to turn
over, ask again in that language

of muscle for my warm thigh, my
open palm, my surrender into
the crook of her arm. She likes
the pillows. She likes the upper
hand where she can wake first,

start the coffee, start the morning.
This is the ritual of sharing a day
from start to finish, and I want to
replace her old red toothbrush, know
her schedule tomorrow, hear her mind

winding down before she – miracle! –
falls asleep in my bed yet again.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

9 thoughts on “This is how she sleeps”

  1. oh shut your mouth. i love it when you remind us you are a great poet.

    if you want comments i have an opinion about that em dash exclamation point but this basically killed me.

  2. That was beautiful. This post struck me as so personal and vulnerable, thank you for sharing it.

  3. jen says:

    damn. read this three times. this is what every girl wants, someone to write her a poem like this. so vulnerable and soft and open. sigh.

  4. Jan says:

    Beautiful imagery, Sinclair. It appears that you breathed in your time with Miss DD. Those memories will be with you for a long time.


  5. Cuban Genius says:

    you're a powerful poet. jen is right: this *is* what every girl wants. and i'm so glad it's for my friend. she's worth it. :) you guys are great together.

  6. Shannon says:

    Sigh… I'm a puddle on the floor and it wasn't even for me. God help the woman.

  7. Angelique says:

    Aw! Me likey~

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