(or: i lost my lesbian virginity under a lunar eclipse and all i got were these jawline hickeys :/ )

the moon was my first
girlfriend, back when everyone else
was having playground weddings 
with daisy chain rings, i whispered 
love notes and she’d breathe them back
on those nights that we’d softly glow together.

and now i remember
there’s meant to be an eclipse tonight.
i’m sort of hoping i’ll miss it,
walking through aro valley at sunset
sinking into spring blue dusk, passing 
the pearly roadside sigh of lilies in overgrowth
i sweat and tug at my choker.

my feet blister in my second-best sneakers
a woman jogs past and i pull my jacket closer,
turning the corner that tucks me well away from sun,
and i feel silly all of a sudden
for the presumption of my lace camisole
and the lengths of clavicle and decolletage
it leaves on show, still winter-milky.
the google maps lady in my earbuds loses signal.

i get to their house still not sure if it’s a date
and we watch netflix and i do not chill
and they smoke weed before inviting me to their room
and their flatmates come home and we’re on the bed
and it’s dark now, in their room. the lights flick on
in the house across the street. we talk
about nothing and i’m certain i’m babbling
and they show me their moon lamp, 
colourshifting LEDs, set it to green and murmur
             can i kiss you?
i say please.

mouth consumes mouth and i am wide-eyed until i am not,
staccato gasping rhythm of my breaths,
metal made percussive as their septum ring
clinks against my tooth. i taste
marijuana smoke on their breath, and copper
as their chain necklace tangles in our tongues
we laugh into each other. their alarm goes off,
meant for tomorrow morning, 
and we laugh at that too.

i unravel myself 
for them - first top, then singlet, then bra, 
my favourite midnight blue, offered up for them to remove.
they admit they’d only fuck it up. more laughs.
mouth descends upon neck upon chest upon
the part of my ribcage that makes me feel ticklish,
the good kind of strange, skin so long untouched
and it is all easier than i thought in the mostly-dark.
they go further, i writhe against the cushion,
long nails unapologised for, skating across their back,
i can list it: first fingers, then tongue,
then corduroy-clothed thigh, then fingers again,
and more tongue. i am sorry that i do not know
how to be more eloquent. i hope my nonsense
murmurings did not bore them.

on the window, after,
we write childish expletives in the condensation.
i pull on my top, tuck it back in to the 
waistband of the skirt i raised for them to sink down.
they laugh at my dumb quips. it is left ambiguous
whether we’ll see each other again,
when i’m back after summer. 
flatmates loudly clear their throats in the living room
they walk me to the door and i go home in afterglow,
fingering lilac pleats and flattening mussed hair,
then there’s the moon again, gently beginning
her subsumption in shadow, accepting
of all the things i have done tonight.

walking home by light of the partial eclipse
on the night i have lost my virginity feels like 
an ancient pact, sealed. still artemis’ maidenhood, 
by a certain definition. the darkness encroaches, 
like a mouth, taking a bite of the moon’s glow
the way their mouth fit around my breast,
left deep purple bruises on my neck.
back through the park and the steps and i skirt the cordon
from the slip on the terrace and feel too powerful
and catch the moon in my eye all the way home,
me and her and me and them and 
all the definitions of light and of touch
and my shaky breaths in a dark room 
and my panting back up the hill
i am wide-eyed. 

this is the last lunar eclipse for the next three years,
and my last week in wellington for three months.
a planetary alignment of urgencies, but i did not calculate
for my addictive tendencies. i get home.
a glow-in-the-dark star has fallen from the wall onto my desk
and i drink some water then turn around and leave again
to meet my friends at the park as the night turns bloody,
wash my hands in kelburn fountain as she glows pink.
we sway to fleetwood mac and run as the sprinklers turn to us
and there is rust in the sky and i am still electric
the clock turns midnight. we walk back down
past my favourite graffiti on the fence
and the little drawing of a rat.

at the end of it all, in my own bed, i take stock of myself:
a 25 minute walk and a liked message, no text back
i’m silly, aren’t i, and moonsick with auxiliary wantings,
the way i know i could let myself be devoured.

Featured image by Danny Lines on Unsplash.


In a dream, you saw a way to survive, and you were filled with joy.


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