Lily Trotta

pillow talk

in the morning you told me a story 
about having sex with a girl named sara
you finished, rolled off, and told her
you know my mom’s name is sara, too
i’d like to be one of those people 
whose behavior you can dismiss with a shrug 
like that’s just lily being lily 
(the scamp)
it’s amazing what those folks can pull off
jokes become bits become a personality 
and suddenly it’s 
classic lily
what can ya do
do you remember the dude who choked me?
the spitter
i think of him through his hand 
planted on my neck 
thumb in the front to stop my breathing
fingers coiled around the back to hold me down
i rearranged my bedroom furniture after that
the wiry hairs curling from his underarms
the lots of freckles
i’d been burning sandalwood that night
in the corner where my bed is now
but damn it if he wasn’t nice 
at the bar
he’d held my hand in both of his own 
paid for all my drinks 
only nice things to say about my taste in music
(and yes, thank you, it is very good!)
it’s funny to think the etymology of a catcall is 
it used to be a heckle for bad theater. 
more recently, a line cook at my job 
started meowing whenever 
i bring dirty plates back to the kitchen.
my manager says the higher-ups are translating 
the employee conduct guide into spanish 
though, and you’re welcome
as i suppose he had been meowing
in spanish
in the last three years
eight male coworkers have tried to kiss me 
i know this is totally inappropriate
is my favorite intro yet
do you want me to be more of a dick to you?
is my favorite reaction to being turned down
and apparently i do 
because i’m not even mad yet
not about the other morning 
when you woke me up to fuck and said
i’m guessing we did that last night too
as you foraged for a paper towel
i shrugged yes and checked my phone
what can ya do
classic lily 
and see, my thing is that 
i’m chill
my thing is that i do my own heavy lifting and i’m not 
squeamish about blood and i curse and drink 
and i take it from you and i am at a loss 
for how exactly to identify a kindness 
in any given tongue 
from men who have seen me beside piles 
of clothes and my old water glasses 
and my dried-up houseplants, the kind of men 
my cat would recognize 
you know 
other than
that feels amazing

Lily Trotta is a queer poet living in Queens, NY. She is the author of damn good (Ghost City Press, 2018). Her writing has been featured online or in print by Peach MagVagabond CityBad Nudes, and more. She was the Curate Journal Featured Poet for July 2018. @lilytrotta