Oxytocin

by Carla Sameth

Oxytocin 

 

I.

I just can’t quit you she said; though never having seen Brokeback Mountain; 

I taught her 

that line.

 

Knock down feral lovemaking, tragic love. You forget the tragedy when you’re fucking

that way up against the bathroom wall in her office when no one was there. Te quiero,

te amo, te adoro. Later, her office moved, wish they’d torn that building down.

 

I remember tiny trickles of sweat dripping off my chest onto a sweet small spot

between her breasts. Remember the night both dreamed same dream, of her asleep 

on top of me, I dreamt alone, she in bed next to him. We could have chewed 

each other up into pieces or drowned content with a thousand besitos. 

 

II.

 

Remember Rudolfo, older Nicaraguan man, told you he had two 

children, lived with his mom? 

 

Turns out there were six, two the same age,

two different women. 

Y resulta

que vivía con una de las mujeres. 

 

You know that boardwalk at Redondo Beach, the pier, it just burned to the ground, he told me 

as if temporarily stunned at the power of fire. To destroy. 

Quisiera que se queme todo. Where we’d drunk those margaritas. Where we’d danced

gotten so wasted, wanted so much, made love in back parking lot. Burn it all down!

TJ where we sat by the pool, tipsy drunk, fuera de onda, bien borracha 

to forget about questions like why none of his clothes found at mom’s apartment?

With hands that caressed me, he’d fed me camarones con limón, chile, sal y aguacate. 

Greedy. Insatiable I sucked it from his fingers 

 

Other times I couldn’t eat. For days. 

But when oxytocin was kicking in, I was ravenous. He liked to watch 

me eat. 

Lobster 

in Puerto Nuevo, on way to San Felipe just before I found out 

where he really lived met su mujer. Who was my age, looked 20 years older. Arms

crossed, thick, recited: el puede hacer lo que quiera contigo, se puede casar, pero aqu  es donde

siempre va a regresar, donde tiene su ropa planchada, su comida hecha. 

 

I stopped eating again.  

 

Later imagining the scent of his neck, cologne smelled like sweet sweat. That last time 

we ran into each other, let him hold me, inhaled while he whispered Mira Carlitatu

sabes cuanto te quiero mijita; no llores mi amor, mi cielo. Te adoro.

 

And I imagine, the first taste 

of heroin is like that. Never 

the same high. And eventually 

it will

kill you.

 

III.

 

Some days? I want. Want my wife to throw me down. Do me. Like those crazy loves. 

Maybe she’s afraid she’ll hurt me because she knows 

what destruction 

can occur. 

 

When she fits around me. perfect puzzle pieces, me holding her lovely breast, we float

away to sleep. I am home. But on those days that we’ve let little hurts 

cast a shadow, pile dirt upon our love, 

I crave. A little hit 

of that other stuff. 

 

When we collide, scar tissue built up long before we met is revealed. 

 

Old wounds open jagged. 

 

 

Carla Sameth’s memoir, One Day on the Gold Line, was published July 2019. Her work on blended/unblended, queer, biracial and single parenting appears in a variety of literary journals and anthologies including The Rumpus, MUTHA Magazine, Narratively, Longreads, Entropy, and many more. A Pasadena Rose Poet, a Pride Poet with West Hollywood, and a former PEN in The Community Teaching Artist, Carla teaches creative writing to high school and university students, and to incarcerated youth. She has an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte (Latin America). She lives in Pasadena with her wife. https://carlasameth.com/