in enemy (vulnerable) territory: reflections on intimacy



beauty is in the neurosis of the beholder

honey is in the palm of the bee holder

honey, you’ve got me in the palm of your hand


I love our wet drum

with its many parts:


slaps like cymbals

snarls like snare


rolling sighs

between my thighs


what’s that, demise?

in your selva eyes


thick current of love power

surges through my node-joints and wire-nerves

up into my rod-bones and satellite-dish-skull


signals swirl, echo

ring like wine in a glass


my love power comes from the bounce that lives

in the balls of my greek feet, second toe longest


what do you do when you’re all alone in the world?

and what do you do when you’re leaning to the right on your own left shoulder crying in the shower, one big wet knot?

and what do you do when you’ve let the wrong person live inside of you for too long?


It wasn’t you who taught me how to dance of course.

this has lived in me since I arrived here,

sometimes I forget I existed before   you


first you drink ten loaves of bread worth of beer with your fellow heartbrokens, because you hate beer, because you want to feel gross of your own accord, because you don’t care about yourself. you just realized you haven’t cared for yourself in a long time.


i deleted twitter but i still compose tweets in my head


i pulled you out of me but you’re still there when i need you

have you even left yet, or did you just become quiet suddenly? like someone who’s been caught?


i did just find you out, after all.

you were right under my nose, resting on the hairs of my upper lip


you know, the dark ones you tease me about.

the ones you tug at with your teeth

the ones you tickle when i’m asleep


here, i have made my home in this terrible no-man’s land

in enemy (vulnerable) territory—

stuck past the verge of tears—

i am no soldier, just a lost gun

                                   cold and wet


then you put your nice heels on and your sexy green shirt over that handmedown bra that’s too big because sometimes it’s fun to dress up like a girl. and when people get scared by that radiant aura you just can’t turn off no matter how hard you try, you take a long walk through dark alleys with those heels because everyone’s always told you not to. you don’t care about yourself, you haven’t cared for yourself in a long time. but don’t worry about what will happen. you’ll start caring about yourself again soon. you’ll run into some kitties and some lonely restaurant owners, that’s all. and you’ll get your sexy green shirt sweaty for nothing, that’s all.


Your presence does to me what wine does to my mother. It makes me grin and tell stories I’m too scared to remember around anyone else.


Sometimes I face my bare feet toward the clouds just so I can feel the blood rush into my toes when I rise,


when I rise





write a poem for every round that’s in your chamber.


it’s not your fault. say it again.

it’s not our fault they turned us into guns.




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“My story is one of reconciliation; lost and recovering from heartbreak, I grapple with my identity as not/a/girl, as so/much/more than a girl.” Katerina “Kat” Pavlidi is a sophomore creative writer. New to the publishing game, but well-versed in poetry,  she often finds herself  drifting into thoughts about the complexities of pain. It’s fascinating: “In some ways, a large part of who people are is formed by their pain, and most of it, you’ll never know about, which is sad because so much of our pain is shared.” Kat’s piece delves into the fragments of emotions that come with heartache and attempts to transgress the way other people perceive her gender. Eloquently written and gripping, Katerina’s piece revives those feelings we’ve all attempted to bury at-least once.

Katerina Pavlidi