Tender is the Knight or a response to Bukowski’s A Poem For Swingers

by Janea Kelly

he prefers women who haven’t slept with too many men,
and I prefer men who have slept with more women,
with more men than I

who cry when you press a finger against his perineum,
who beg you for permission to come, who are eager to worship
your ankles, your kneecaps, your cunt

because every girl grows up to fear the forty-something virgin,
the twenty-something porn expert who has never had his face ridden,
much less kissed goodnight and he drools against your mouth and whines

“can I come in” after one drink
if you touch his dick, he will splatter all over
your nice dress, and he’s such a nice guy

he wants you to show how tender you are
he mauls your breasts with his too soft hands
and you keep thinking

is this a man, is this a man, Jesus was a carpenter
and his hands were calloused,
his hands were worn leather soles with holes through the middle

and oh, holy, holy
is this why nuns prefer God to men
I want to join a convent, I will be a woman of habit

at night I will lie still, naked,
with my hard nipples to the sky
and let God worship my body

is that blasphemy
or is that Bukowski
or is it bukkake

or is it all the same,
men showering women with their judgement,
hands on their cocks even after the bullets stop

they’re just beatniks

I don’t mind
I was asking for it.

I licked my lips,
and let God pass
I don’t mind

because not all men are brutes,
some are knights
and when you ask them for love,

they’ll tell you
If you want to shoot down the moon
you’ll need a bigger gun.

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