By Ruby Sparks
An Instagram poll we did for Jonny condoms earlier this year, exposed that 80-something percent of us had unprotected sex. In the stories that followed our inquisition, we found it haunting how common it is for young women to cast aside their own physical wellbeing, in the hopes that they’ll be validated or loved more by the person that they’re with. This is Ruby Spark’s ode to that collective, with a message that sometimes it’s not “completely fine” to have unprotected sex.
I stand in the pharmacy and let him look at me like that, for you Ask if I had been there before, yes I would come back here again for you.
For the you that lay below me, And held me tightly so I forgot to breathe. I would let you wipe yourself with that towel first Every time before handing it to me. But mainly I pay $40 And feel bloated and removed And let my head pound for the you that lives inside it, My head that is.
The one whose heart I finally expose, Who falls for the girl who lays beside him as he messages His friends the morning after. I like you so much I write poems for you, Mostly bad, But that’s how much space I allow for you in my head, In my life.
I sit awake at 2 am bloated and gassy and alive And imagining you reading my poems, but knowing you never will, because I’ve already asked you to and you never liked poetry.
I like you so much I sit in the back seat of the car As you talk about the girls you will see at the beach that day, That I agree for you to stop on the side of the motorway And walk 30min to catch my ferry But I felt grateful that you had turned towards me when you said goodbye I walk with my bags and I picture the parts of you probably still swimming inside me.
I like you so much I watch you play video games, Let you explain them to me Because I like your voice, Like that you are using your words up on me. Even when they are small, distracted And unsatisfying words I drink them in And trick my body into thinking they fill me That I could live off your words, Your hands on me And I would never have to eat again.
I like you so much I watch you get drunk with me I pour the shot for you and spill it over the edge, Because when you drink you hold me And I let myself pretend you are just too scared to when you don’t.
I like you so much I smoke weed with you Split the bag, even though I only have one hit I freak and I cry out for you, But you sit there Too stoned to see me needing you, So I forgive you I forgive you because maybe if I sent this poem to your embarrassingly childish email You would fall for me finally.
Because you would actually open my email, and read it through And understand when I try to be clever with my words And I wouldn’t have to spell it out for you.
I like you so much it’s now 3 am And I’m still awake. Knowing that I will never show this poem to anyone who cares about me But that maybe I will show it to you Once you confess your love And we laugh and all of the money I spent on keeping my legs open, And my mouth shut for you.