a lesson in firsts

June 18, 2019

By Death, She Lives

a monthly column by Jenna Vélez




TW: sexual assault/rape; miscarriage



a lesson in firsts


Jenna Vélez




you were my first


boyfriend (n): a regular male companion with whom one has a romantic or sexual relationship


and i let you see me when my skin was cold in your

living room


hallway floor


kitchen counter


you were my first


virginity (n): the state of never having had sexual intercourse; the state of being naive, innocent, or inexperienced in a particular context


and i let you do things i only dreamed of

watched on a tv screen


it was then i learned abuse was a verb and a noun


you were my first

i drowned you in excuses and all you did was float

in spite of me

red-faced and aged a lifetime


i had to remember

that i wish you weren’t my first


chemical pregnancy (n): a very early miscarriage which occurs before the fifth week of gestation and well before the fetus can be visibly detected on an ultrasound


it was a week later you taught me rape was a verb and a noun


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