Asshole

Maria Nazos

BPR 47 | 2020

Dank star, body’s outcast, no man’s land,
everyman’s refuge, place for two fingers, place
for Number Two, emergency exit, secret
shadowed entrance, a club for just the elite to enter.
Sad-sack in second place, scrunched pink ribbon,
a way to gauge your partner’s kinkiness. This is how far
I’ve had someone go in there, said a now ex-love: he stuck
two fingertips in my armpit. It was a tender
and raw moment, the way even an asshole can be—
that same man left me sitting in a restaurant
on Christmas Eve because I asked him
if, after six years, he intended to commit.
A different time, though he closed a book
of his childhood photos. Took me by the hands
and said, Thank you for being so gentle with my life
so, I’ll say it again: asshole. Once, while visiting
home as a grown adult, I had explosive diarrhea.
My father sat beside me all night as I ran from bathroom
to couch. He stroked my damp head and tried,
in his broken English, to talk about the Kardashians,
all of them assholes—that moment wiped clean
my memories of when, as a girl, he beat me
like a dusty rug. Yes, it’s an insult. But we all have one.
We all are one. We’ve all loved one as much
as we’ve been one, deserving of love. Claim that word.
Say it so your lips form an O, tight as an anus.
Dense as a vocative calling back the filthy body
of the ones you love and hate. You delicate piece
of dirty skin. Never forget where the sun still shines,
even within the darkest parts of the body.