Just One in a Series of Unromantic Procedures

Hovering, humping away
like a frantic little animal he said
Oy! then rolled off me sweating.


All I really wanted
was a pair of sneakers. Not the sneaky
thumbs kneading my heels into
stilettos tarted up with straps, chains, studs.
He slid my foot between his thighs, into his open
palm, whispering ... I stepped away
shoeless. I can pay for my shoes
with cash, thanks.

Enhances Curl

So in the moment she grabbed
the first slim square packet
her fingers found. Tore
it open: instant slick.
Not until gluey morning
did she see the label: For dry
and damaged hair.
External use only.

This Is So Penthouse Letters

Two reddened mouths peppered
his nightlit, straining torso with kisses.
In the midst of a nibble, a bitten button--wait
didn't you say you had a girlfriend?

A stutter, a grimace, a shrug. The two
pairs of cherry lips moved off,
relocated on one another, bit newer fruit.

Happy Ending Surprise

We went to this bar on Wednesday,
found the former massage rooms downstairs
and necked alone in the blue light.
When I looked up again I was surrounded
by pretty men holding each other
in their mouths. It was midnight,
gay night, and my drink was missing.

At the Precipice

Looking up at him the instant
before orgasm -- seeing only
a large booger dangling above my face.
I had to leave. No coming
back, either.

Method Acting

She wanted a faux break-in,
a dangerous, anonymous stranger
to penetrate the safety of her apartment. He'd come
unannounced, wear all black,
a ski mask, pretend viciously
to scare the shit out of her,
and then they'd do it.
When she asked her boyfriend, he said, Okay,
but I can't wear a ski mask
because my glasses might get in the way. And
um, do I get to get raped too?

Baby, You Get Me So Hot

You're so good I breathed,
And you're so... warm
he replied.
Accidental revenge
a few weeks later. I reached blindly
into my bag for the lube, generously
slathered clear goo, expecting moans,
but heard only screeching--
Ahhh, I'm on fire!!!
Funny, I didn't know I had any
hand sanitizer in my bag.

The previous items were culled from the most excruciating, disappointing, embarassing, cringe-inducing moments in dating that my friends and I could remember. The e-mailed request for stories elicited about twenty-five excited, gossipy responses within two days. -- Siân Killingsworth, Brooklyn, May 2004.

* * *

Siân Killingsworth was born in Oxford, England, and raised in Princeton, New Jersey. She graduated from Rutgers University, where she studied poetry with Robert Kusch. Currently she is pursuing an MFA in Poetry at the New School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. And her first name, "Siân"? Okay, couple things. First, don't forget the circumflex. The circumflex is the little hat-guy over the "a." It's Welsh. Second: it's pronounced "Shaaaahn," not "Shawn." Rhymes with "Khan," roughly, not "Dawn." If you get either of these things wrong, she will mess you up.

Text copyright © 2004 Siân Killingsworth. All rights reserved.