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by Katie Bowers

I never could quite grasp why wanting a boy,

            the one you think you love,

to slip his fingers between your thighs

was invasive

       see also: encroaching

       see also: crude

       see also: slutty

 

this misinformation, this obfuscation, this deceit

led me to learn

 

that the root of the word love comes

from pleasure—the origin of desire

and that the core of desire is longing

 

for whatever the heavens have aligned—

 

as I searched for understanding

in the map of constellations

freckled onto all of my lovers' backs.

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Katie Ellen Bowers is a poet and educator living in the rural Southeast with her husband and daughter. Her work has been recently published in Qu Literary Magazine, Haunted Waters Press, and The Dewdrop, for which she was nominated for The Pushcart Prize.