Melissa Miles (Colours of Love and Barriers)

Melissa Miles

Melissa lives in New York with her wife and teaches advanced placement psychology and literature in an urban public high school where she is the founding English teacher.  She has taught in the US & Great Britain.  Melissa has taught for 20 years.  She is editing her second poetry manuscript.  Her website is currently under construction.  For website questions, readings, motivational speeches and workshops and appearances, contact Melissa at: 

I’ve Been that Woman

I’ve woken in jeans unzipped— 
bunched at my hips. Closed my legs 
when a guy grew too large to handle.

Opened my thighs to women I didn’t love— 
tongues undeserving of my taste never found their way. 
I just teased with wetness.

Those days, it was all I could give
even a decade after a stranger 
forced his hands inside me. 

Between the hour of coming & going 

I’d get up and feel for my depression 
left in the mattress just to know I was 
there. Then drive until I found myself in a body 

of water, where waves fell at my feet like nymphs
mistaking me for a goddess—
pleading to kiss away their immortality.

I’d picture the only woman I made love to
on a beach.  The first time, she ran to the surf’s lip, 
wriggled out of clothes and screamed—You coming?

I slowed my pace to watch. 
Her figure waxed, the closer I came.
Low tide writhed against skin under moonlight.
Smirking, she called again—Coming?
I stripped and covered my breasts.
She strolled to me dripping, dropped my hands: 

You’re so beautiful— 
you have a body like Eve.
Don’t cover up—don’t ever hide.

It was months before I told her 
of being molested—
adolescence spent hiding 

in long sleeves, turtlenecks,
jackets zipped all the way up,
jeans even in July and August. 

That night, her body 
was a bandage 
drenched in tenderness.

She trailed the gauze of her tongue 
down to my pubic bone, stopped—
stood and pressed against my body.

Her fingers spread 
me open. 
We became another kind 

of enter.

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