when I sat on the couch I was in pain of denial
an orgasm withheld
flush with stomach-ache and tv drama

i had come close only once the bathroom tiles
seeming so cold and the grout a negative
space that my soul filled with fear
terry cloth was my accomplice

late in June with the windows that a bat had flown through
weeks earlier open my mother under army surplus blanket
says during a message from a drama’s sponsors

‘you know…its okay if you masturbate’
my presbyterian skin tightens up against my embarrassed body
‘i know’ i say just in time for theme music
to carry me away from minnesota

 from myself and the wine of youth
that strange drunk whose piety meets you each morning
oh what forgiveness the sobriety of age and
orgasm bring