California No

You say intimacy breathes.
I drop in.

I know the sexiest
sentence there is—the most

erotic. I know it
like I know the last moment

wants to draw us

If we could say it doesn’t go
plainly as that

knowing the most intimate
line there is

or I know

on so many occasions those
yes yes yeses almost

what they yesed—

Copyright © 2018 by Rae Gouirand. Used with the permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Quarterly West Issue 94.