My womanhood is not delicate or generous. It is a snarling, wounded animal caged in gleaming bars of pride and hidden away in the blackest part of my heart. It is wily and ruthless and jealous of the company it keeps, and it bleeds day and night from a secret, raw need for the worthy one. It waits in the dark and howls out a lament for the one with a muzzle in one pocket and bandages in another, the man with teeth like knives and eyes full of starlight.
I am a pillar of light and flame bottled up tight against intruders, and no man may open me or he will burn. Kisses from these lips are curses to the boys that steal them, and any one who looks at me too lingeringly calls down destruction upon himself, as though I am this century’s arc of the covenant. Why? Because I already belong to a bountifully cruel man with tenderness only for me. He is the supper-massive black hole at the center of my universe, drawing me closer with every second of these lonely nights and shuddering in anticipation for the day when he may swallow me up. On that day, he will come for the girl who thrills at silk scares around her wrists and a kingdom at her feet, and I will kneel for he who fears nothing but the curve of my mouth, the sound of my smallest whisper. I will wander through the halls of his heart with bare feet and loose hair, unafraid of what I might find there, and he will put the animal in me at rest with gentle words and firm hands. Together, we will make this world tremble.
So do not touch me, brother mine, or we will make you understand what it is to burn.”