Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Category: Fiction

Fiction by ILB

Poetry: The Pleasure of Agony

I used to write a lot of poetry.

It was, for a while, my ‘thing’. I’d sit in the library at breaktimes and write angsty love poems while Einstein and Lightsinthesky tried to solve the puzzle of what the inside of a black hole looked like. I never, for a single moment, considered actually approaching the girls I was writing poetry about – that was well beyond my capability – but I did put a lot of my pain into words.

Yes, I was that guy, before you ask. And, no, it wasn’t terrible poetry, it just wasn’t good.

Because it’s National Poetry Day, I’m sharing here one of the first poems I ever wrote, about one of the first crushes I ever had.

You are agony,
Yet the agony you bring I have to endure.
If I’ve decided that I love you then I’ll have to face the consequences.

Trying to look at you, then trying not to.
Trying to cry, then trying not to,
So I can try to look at you again.

The dark is rising,
And all I can think is:
Let them hit me, hurt me,
Let them batter me, beat me,
Let them do this to try
To make me cry.

You will lead me to salvation
By pulling me through the
That you don’t mean to bring.

It is through this agony
That I am sad,
Yet at the same time
I am so happy
Happy within the agony.

Fiction: Glimpse

It was quick. Very quick. A flash in the pan, as one might say. But I saw it. I definitely did see it. I can replay it in my mind, even now. Over and over and over again, it comes back to me. I know what she did, and I know how she did it. And even in my memory, the very thought still sets me on fire.

I shouldn’t have seen it. I know I shouldn’t. I wasn’t meant to be party to such a visual treat. I was at the back of the room; she was at the front. I was meant to be busy with something else – I even had an arm curled around the girl I was with. She had her head buried in my chest, listening to my heart beat. I’m pretty sure it was lulling her to sleep. It does that. And I know, deep down inside, that this was the girl I was meant to be concentrating on. I was. I really was.

But, while bending down to nuzzle her hair, my eyes flicked upwards. I caught the slightest glimpse of the girl in the other corner of the room. What she did was extraordinary – a spark of wanton electricity. I’m glad I had somewhere else to look, but nevertheless, I’d seen it. I couldn’t un-see it. My mind was trapped, caught in a loop. My thoughts went places they shouldn’t have gone. I felt dirty. Stained, unclean, wrong. But so, so good.

My girl murmured that my heartbeat had sped up. Not without cause.

[The above was originally submitted to the Eroticon 2012 anthology! Eight years later, here it is, dug up and dusted down, and presented for the first time here – hooray bonus content!]

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