The Best Kind of Crabs

November 24, 2019

 Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash


The Best Kind of Crabs

            for the sex store, and



It’s the year I become she

who tells customers with almost
less than an eye roll not to use

that lube. The year I wonder
if I’ll ever recover from the joy
of using the word for the part
liberation of exactitude
telling strangers whose sex
education or parents or

religion failed them that no

you can’t stick that up your ass
or anyone else’s unless you want
to explain it to the ER nurse.

I want to explain myself

when nobody understands
I love my job.


I also love poems

but I love my job more
right now and then

I start to wonder whether
the poems I am moved to make
have grown stale because of the love
I am longing always to make
to you, again, after you read
me a poem in bed. We bathe
in sun. I joke about the couple
whose days’ old Fetlife relationship
filled to the brim with “babe”s and “oh”s

and “I’m going to change my flight”

and “I’m going to buy this prostate massager.”


I’m not joking—they swelled my heart
with hope. We use the best brand
of non-latex condoms. I have an excuse
to practice calling it like it is:
you have a body as heavy and full

and living as my own. You get the runs.
You fuck up, feel embarrassed, feel too fat.
Your stress climbs under covers between us
to fight my PTSD for the spotlight.
I buy you another pocket pussy
because I’ll be away on and off
through March. You remind me
that not all gifts have to be for your penis
so I bring you socks from the airport in Baltimore
blue with red crabs. You say these are the best

kind of crabs to receive from a lover.

You cock one hip, naked with a towel
curled around your hair. I am gone
again this week. My tongue misses
your penis and my chest misses
your spine, your teeth
miss my shoulder and I wish
I was going to tell a stranger
about the best—really, the best—clitoral vibrator
today. I wish I was going to come home
and tell you she didn’t buy it
wish you’d ask to watch me

use my vibrator so you could interrupt
and make me sleep from orgasms
and love and blur and poetry.

My mouth knows the words for the parts

but my body only knows
it wants to be with yours.



~  Carly Madison Taylor







Carly Madison Taylor is a poet, songwriter, and essayist living in Buffalo, NY. She earned her BA in Creative Writing and Dance Studies from Knox College in 2016. More of her work can be found at Memoir Mixtapes, Blanket Sea Magazine, Vamp Cat Magazine, and in Rhythm & Bones Press's own You Are Not Your Rape anthology. She’s on Twitter @carma_t.

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