I think I had always been looking for home.
It wasn’t until you walked up to the shop
That finding it in the arms of another
Had even occurred to me
I was pretty broken by then
But you specialised in broken little girls

But I wasn’t thinking about brokenness that day
I was sitting on the shop porch
Watching the sun set over the Pacific

I can lose myself in a sunset
I specialised in losing myself
Strains of Billie Holiday floated
On the breeze. Blues
With just a hint of seaweed in the air.

The owner liked us to play Holliday
She said it sold more dresses
She hated classical music
Said it put people to sleep
Personally I sold more dresses
With 10,000 maniacs
Something about Natalie Merchant’s
Voice made you want to look pretty
Or maybe she made me feel pretty
And people just wanted a piece of that

But right now it’s The Man I Love
“Some day he’ll come along
The man I love
He’ll be big and strong
The man I love”
With that scratchy record sound
Taking you even deeper into the fantasy

On most days this would make me laugh
I’ve earned my cynicism the hard way
But today I’m swaying with the music
Watching the sun go down
I’m wearing vintage
And the silk of the dress
Is wrapping around my legs like a cat
I’m thinking about my day off
And how long I can sleep
Because in that moment
I want to sleep forever

At first I don’t see you
You’re blocked out by the sun
A large shadow of a man
I can see the outline of one
Of those Australian hats
Before you remove it
Drop it on a step
And a long coat, loose
I think of Clint Eastwood
Just before I hear
“Hello, gorgeous”
Rumble from your lips

Shivers run up and down my spine
And that voice in my head
That tries so desperately
To keep me out of trouble
Clears it’s throat
Preparing for a long tirade
But I don’t listen
I’m already lost

I don’t think I spoke
But I looked
I looked hard
Our eyes locked
For a long minute
Maybe longer
Me, trying to keep
My secrets in tact
You, trying to rip them from me

Wait. You need to understand
I was living in a small California town
And I had plenty of secrets
But I had put them behind me
I was a sweet girl now
And most of the time
My darkness
Never came out to play

And when I hungered for pain
For domination
For a hand on my throat
I drank whiskey straight
It burned as it went down
The burn made my panties wet
As a reminder of what I really was

If I was lucky some strange man
Passing through town would
Slap my ass while he fucked me from behind
Without me having to beg for it
Because begging could backfire on you

But looking in your silver kaleidoscope eyes
My darkness is scratching at the walls
Of her black cave whining, becoming
Ever more demanding
I’m trying breathing exercises I was
Taught years ago when I found
Myself overwhelmed by trouble

The shop is in an old house
The porch is made of decaying wood
The steps are rickety and noisy
It’s time to shut up the shop
But I’m still lost in your eyes

We keep a mannequin outside
We dress her in the “outfit of the day”
To entice customers in the door
Mostly it works
But it’s time to close
And I need to bring her in
And I keep thinking about
The similarity between her and me
Not for the first time
When your heavy boots
Start up those rickety steps

Breathing exercises
completely forgotten
I forget to breathe at all

When your hand caresses my neck
Lightly squeezing, constricting
And releasing in a kind of dance
I know my secrets have been let out
Like a dirty Pandora’s Box

Your lips lightly graze my cheek
My breathing,
When I’m allowed to breathe
Is harsh and heavy and vocal
I’m trying not to moan
I’m so wet
I can feel it slide down
The inside of my thighs
When a small whimper escapes

You breathe in my ear
“You are a pretty little slut.
Jake was right about that.”

And then I start to panic
In earnest
And fight back
Because Jake is the reason
I’m hiding
And if Jake can find me
I’m dead.

I’m quickly weighing my options
I can jump over the
Decaying wooden banister
But my car keys are in my bag
Behind the counter
I can Hotwire the car

Yeah, it’s amazing what you
Learn when you’re on the run

But I can’t Hotwire that fast
And besides I’m rusty
Because I’ve let myself
Become complacent
And now I’m going to die

So, I start to struggle
Without a plan
Doing anything without a plan
Is a mistake
I know this
When you grab my upper arms
Squeezing hard, leaving bruises
And I’m battling the need to come
And the need to run
With the same fucked up brain

“Stop.”
The dominance in the command
Makes my clit swell, throb
And I do moan then
“I’m not going to hurt you
I’m not going to let anyone hurt you
But you need to come with me. Now”
Your voice is low, commanding,
Caressing my insecurities but
I’m shaking my head frantically
I can feel hot tears roll down my face.

“Hush, baby.
You know you can’t do this alone.”
But I learned a long time ago
That the only person I could trust
Was myself
And sometimes even I’m suspect.

But he has my wrists clamped together
In one of his big hands behind my back
Pressing into the base of my spine
Holding me close
And he feels warm
And good
And solid in a way I’ve only dreamed about
He’s leaving light little feathery kisses
Over my hair, my face, my eyes
Before his tongue enters my mouth
Exploring, claiming, owning

I’m falling so hard
Surrendering just a little

When I hear the collar click into place
Followed by a quick jerk of the leash
And the word “Mine.”

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