After life swallows your soul and slaps you senseless. After the workplace bullwhips, browbeats, and bulldozes your dignity. After your hands grasp ambition like an ax handle until calluses are birthed, sore and pleading for caress. After you almost assassinate your dreams and then willingly kill for them. After this world sells you out and shoves you towards oblivion.
After you've been left shivering, sweat-stained and thunderstruck. After you regurgitate and rebuke the dawning and drowning of desire until your tongue becomes a typhoon of yearning - after all of this, the solace of a woman stands, waiting.
And if you are blessed, she may sashay towards the screech of the opening screen door and kiss your weariness away. If you are blessed, you might discover the missing and broken parts of your identity, trodden, weathered, weeping in her embrace.
This piece first appeared in Battle of the Sexes: Poetry Edition