The Morning After by Venesa Marco

The morning after a one night stand

You will search for the God left in you

He will be standing still

Somewhere away from home

This will be the day Heaven will seem too far

You will not acknowledge him

Instead,

You will bathe in scalding water

Attempting to wash away your sins

You will make of your body a vessel for dying things

You will blame the alcohol

You will blame your mothers absence

You will blame it on an act of rebellion

You will blame

And blame

And blame

In the car ride home

There will be music

But you will not hear a sound

Last night you swallowed a man with no name

There will be no praises for this

You will tell yourself

“This is how you become a woman”

“This is how you make sense of senseless things”

You will tell yourself

“Sex is a senseless thing”

Reduce it to a dance of bodies

To the exhaustion of breath

Still, you gave your breath away to a man

That will not know the proper way to write your name

That will not know all the Jazz you listen to

All the canvases you paint

Still, you gave your breath away to a man

That will not know the wake of your body

Only the slumber of thighs

You will speak of sex

You will not know love

The morning after a one night stand

You will learn to love like an object

Like a thing that can be touched

But does not know how to feel

You will love like a clock

Passing time but not waiting for anything

You will love like a door

You will salute your lovers upon their arrival

And close yourself off after their departure

You will love like an instrument

Your sound will be entirely dependent

On others hands

You will love like cars – mechanical

You will love like paint – temporary

You will love like books – a finished thing

You will love like a poem

Written in the aftermath of a reckless exchange

Then tucked away never to be said out loud

You will make of that poem a shameful doing

The morning after a one night stand

You will greet the mirror and not recognize

Your own reflection

God will have stripped away

All the girl left in you

She will be left dangling from a thread

Trying to find the rib

Men have claimed will make a woman out of her

Finally,

When the ribcage is built

You will not miss the girl

You will fall in love with the woman

God has left in her place

This new woman will know

That she is a learning body

A sometimes lonely body

And, when a body is lonely

It does beautifully reckless things

The morning after a one night stand

Means nothing to a woman

It is the days that follow

That mean everything

The days when the dust settles

And she realizes

She was just a body

In the presence of a lonely night

That did an increadibly beautiful reckless thing

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