GABRIELLE JORDAN STEIN
You had seen my name in text.
It was one of the names next to a circle of an image of a girl.
You swiped right.
You told me it would have been cool,
if we had met the day we,
he and I,
A circle on a screen.
To be toggled between.
To be bought a drink.
Left or right.
You had never heard my name out loud.
You learned of me before you knew me.
Before you learned my name.
Your questions pried.
Filling me with more questions,
never anything of your own.
You collected, harvested information.
I lifted my skin for you.
By the time you learned of the ‘ga’ coupled with the ‘be’,
and it escaped your lips in a mechanical tryst of simulated passion,
I had convinced myself that it was
We tell ourselves lies to sleep through the night,
but I ever slept one next to you.
‘I dig you,’ you said.
Upon learning my name,
you no longer did.
Learn of me,
drink from me.
Rinse, lather, repeat.
You moaned, ‘gabby.’
No capital ‘G’.
Before you learned of my name,
you entered me.
You told me I was yours.
That I belonged to you.
Trying on a role.
Learning from me,
taking from me.
Rolling over after.
‘I never talk dirty.’
A two year thirst slaked,
I couldn’t respond.
‘I don’t think I can be overexposed to the world,’ you said.
While you may expose through story or lore, you are never exposed.
No symbiosis. No reciprocity.
You are an explorer, a traveler.
You have no home,
I am not your home.
I am not your host.
And while I may have found comfort in your ‘Hey lady.’ this or your five roses that,
I wonder if I was,
because you did not know my name.
Copy and pasted,
left and right.
Even after you learned my name, it never came alive off of your tongue.
Tongue spreading, lips pursing and parting,
It stopped short.
No breathy and lingering ‘yyyyyyy’
no heat grazing my ear.
No want, no need
Uttered to remind yourself of where you were, what country you were invading.
To remind you that you are an explorer, and that this is not your home.