Ode, if Your Love Language is Physical Touch

Dorothy Chan

When men and women say they like the things I like,

          like Caravaggio and the stars, I want them to shut up,

because it’s not a pick-up line if we’re all looking

          at the same sky every night, and make a wish,

honey, because it’s not a come on, or a turn on,

          or a turn me on against the wall at a museum

in the middle of the day as tourists watch, and oh,

          go a little harder — just a little harder, and boys

and girls and girls and girls and boys and boys

          meet in front of masterpieces, falling in love,

and we all know the endings of those stories,

          but have you seen Caravaggio’s painting of the four

musician boys — all identical, almost unclothed,

          porcelain skin, string that mandolin, and have you

ever been so infatuated with someone you wished

          upon a genie that they’d quadruple right before

your eyes dressing and undressing in a montage

          out of an ‘80s film starring Anthony Michael Hall,

and yes, it’s a little greedy — a little barbaric,

          Barbarella stripping in space — to want four of

the same person, but isn’t it lovely to have four

          times the flesh, the skin on your hands, massaging

their back down to their butt, I think, one night

          when I’m figuring out which of the five love

languages I am, and all I want is physical touch,

          because it’s existed since the Stone Age — all chemistry

and dynasty and history, and let your man serve you,

          every night, or as my lover whispers, “My pleasure”

to me on the phone, a voice that makes me want

          to be a little barbaric, a little Barbarella, naked

in space — what a babe, make love to him in

          zero gravity, which is such a Double 007 move,

plus the martinis with extra olives plus the gadgets

          in the bedroom, and touch me, light my fire, baby,

and we’ll light a fire here, paint some animals on

          the wall like our ancestors, and oh, you’ve got me

going so hard, you’ve got me going so hard,

          paint on my hands, markings left after you

bring me down to this earth — into your arms —

          into this zero-gravity space of just you and me — all

I need is your physical touch with a side of olives.


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