There Is More Than My Heart To Take Jessie B. Rubin Poetry

local_library There Is More Than My Heart To Take

by Jessie B. Rubin

Published in Issue No. 168 ~ May, 2011

If we had slept together
and I had gone home after
[instead of sleeping in your bed
with my head on your chest,
which I could tell made you uncomfortable
and I assure you was not ideal for me either
as I awoke with a terrible cramp in my neck,
but I did only in order to avoid burning my skull
on your god awful radiator]…
would you have called?

If we had slept together
and the condom,
so carefully rolled on prior,
had broken,
[despite the fact that you were not too big for it,
as you had earlier tried to infer],
and you had gotten me pregnant…
would you say hello now when we cross at parties?

If we had slept together
and I had not said I love you
as I most unfortunately did,
[because at climax it just felt right,
though my feelings for you were more like a distinct
producing a feeling in you-
a sentiment between guilt and loathing-
that men know only
when women adore them…
would you have inquired with mutual friends about me?

If we had slept together
and I had given you a mind blowing orgasm
that made you cry,
[as you may have drunkenly mentioned over dinner
your ex had accomplished on that trip to Vegas a year ago July,
but I am quite certain-
and I think you’ll remember too-
was nothing compared to the tears I might have evoked
had your mother not called,
and you not answered,
when I was about to finish a skilled performance]…
would we be dating?

If we had slept together
and I hadn’t called you several days later,
[a call I was quite aware you were not pleased to receive,
and I was no more pleased to make,
but was forced to
after realizing I’d sacrificed my bracelet
from my wrist to the bed into your bag on the floor
in a moment of excitement and tangled articles]…
would you have thought about me often and wondered how I was?

Or if we hadn’t slept together on our first
date at all,
although we both wanted to,
[at least by the time
we were sharing a taxi together
from that bar downtown
where couples made out in dark booths-
and we had done the same,
downing several fruity cocktails,
which you kept requesting from the waitress
with the hopes of inebriating me],
and we hadn’t pursued the notion to leave,
arm in arm,
hand on everything …

If I had just made out ferociously with you
in the cab
on the way back to my place,
[instead of inviting you up for another glass of wine
although we’d been drinking rum all evening-
and common knowledge states that mixing
almost always leads to nausea
or a backlash of emotional trauma
which friends, roommates, family members must suffer
for at least a week]
and then sent you on your way, slightly tortured…

If you hadn’t entered my building
[and then my apartment
and then my bedroom
and then my bed
and then me]…
would we currently exist in a committed, monogamous and
if not entirely enjoyable–

I’m asking
because I recall that I bought drinks that evening
and paid for the cab ride home
and gave you half a bottle of superb Cabernet Sauvignon,
[which I’d received as a gift,
with the express intent
that I consume it on a special occasion-
which our intercourse certainly did not pan out to be]
and I believe you even walked out with a banana-
a prop you’d discovered in the kitchen for a spontaneous,
and failed,
attempt at kinkiness[highly inappropriate for a first encounter
I might as well mention]…

And I’m wondering
[since I did sleep with you-
an activity I could do without repeating]
how I might politely ask for my things back.

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Jessie B. Rubin lives and writes in Los Angeles, home to imported palm trees, imported immigrants, imported sports teams, and recently imported–herself, from New York. She holds a BA in English from Wesleyan University. She writes at a big, red desk. Stalk her at