the physical act is a dare, a promise

beautiful strong overwhelming

then dismissed as perverse and shoved out of conversation

(it's not as if we all arrived by some long-beaked bird).

you take him by the hand, drive him home

he turns on the stereo speakers and takes off his shirt

a band you've never heard of

(and after thirty seconds, you decide you don't like, either)

becomes the soundtrack to this moment in your life.

he's looking at you and awkwardly

you lean in to kiss him and silence

all the thoughts in your head.

he smiles coyly and you recline on his bed

relaxed, with a tinge of self-satisfaction

it was no big deal— kissing with a prize at the end

and this time you don't leave his house with your groin burning

but sated, lazy, like a punctured hymen

is your ticket to the adult world.

later, you smirk in the mirror, proud

that this big thing, whispered conversations and blushes,

was not such a big deal after all.

but maybe that strange feeling that you have

resting quietly on your skin—

maybe one day you'll confront the unease,

the knowledge that you knew

that your body was ready but you were not

all the slinky actresses on top of the sharp-edged actors

were just pretending

the act was no big deal

but the thought of STDs is more prevalent in your mind right now

than the pleasure or the satisfaction.

later, you realize that you barely knew him

with equal guilt and relief

because even though you desecrated this ritual

you think that if you had loved him

now that he's ignoring you

the knives slipping through your flesh

would be dipped in acid

but maybe it would have meant more

than physical pleasure at the time.

and then it occurs to you

that you won't ever know what you gave to this stranger

who passes you in the halls with a little smile

in exchange for a heated thrill

now you wonder: what piece of yourself

have you bartered away?

A/N: Edited for grammar mistakes. I will probably come back and tweak, but here it is for now. I don't think it needs explanation. Please review (or share stories, or whatnot). I'm open.