Charlie Stern

A Trio Of Queer Love

2014-2016

I love the mournful way you hold me
It’s always winter in rural New England with you
Tucked away in the back roads of Massachusetts

I want to sit in the dirt and the pine needles
And the filthy melting snow
I want to get my jeans wet
Right down to the thermals I’m wearing underneath

Whenever I get into your bed,
I feel like I’m climbing
Unsteady. Soft.

I don’t know why we never go anywhere in the daylight
All of my memories are of us when we can see our breath

I was wearing Christmas socks the whole time we were traveling,
We took the wrong train
I napped in the sunshine
But we were still cold at night, in the rain and mud

We talked about suicide, loudly, in the Denny’s full of people who didn’t pick us up
I don’t know why I put that box of hashbrowns in my pack
They just got wet and I had to hose it off on the porch

My life is a cycle of recovering
I don’t know where my home is
But I have an idea.

—–

2017

I feel chosen,
When your hips test the space next to you in your sleep
And you bounce our sides together
And you settle into me
Our fat and our elasticity pressed
And you fall back into a raspy sleep
I know this breath so intimately
And the way it smells when you wake up
I am grateful for our bed
And grateful for our softness
I want to lie directly in the middle of your chest
Like an infant puppy
You turn away from me
And my hip buzzes from needing you
I am falling asleep as I write
It woke you up when I had to take my medicine
The small clacking of the pills against the side of the bottle
Our bodies make such noises
When we shift and nest into ourselves
Like old houses
Cracking

/

I will write it in my own fucking blood if I have to
I will write it in my MAC lipstick
That Loryn got me when I was sleeping
Couch to couch,
“Deep Rooted”
I want you to wake up to it on the walls
I want to take down all the paintings
And make sure you KNOW
You sleep when I’m awake
And I sleep when you’re at work
I wake up when you’re in the shower
We make dinner together at 9 pm
You don’t understand at all
Maybe I’m trying to add more and more cayenne each time
So you finally get it
I drink coffee at 6 pm
I pack your lunch at 6 in the morning
I wake you up at 5:58
You’re so fucking beautiful
You put sage in everything
It makes so much sense

/

I feel at home in your body
I pull away from you
To write about you
I want to take you with me
But you won’t always be there
So I am sitting up
In our bed,
That won’t be mine for much longer,
And I write about you

I think about your skin on the side of my face
I think about how dolphin-taut
Your back is
And how soft your stomach
Allows itself to be
I think about how the slopes of you
Accommodate my smallness
And how we breathe into each other
And how my breasts don’t feel criminal
When we’re inside of each other

I think about how I told you
I wanted us to merge
So I wouldn’t have to leave
So I wouldn’t have to be alone
About: How only we know how to touch
And be touched
By each other
And: How I am so sorry
To be this much work

You look good in the dresses
I pick for you,
But you look so much better
Gliding back into our room
After we’ve fucked
After you’ve washed
The cum from your chest
You look beautiful under our lamp
Under me
Inside this box
Away,
Away.

—–

2018

I did a bad job of taking care of myself today
My hands hurt
And I am most at home when I am alone
I can’t help but make speeches and coil around my words when I’m with you
Like I’m in a screenplay about being in love with you
Instead of actually experiencing it
I wanted to stop in the middle of fucking you
To go and write a poem about it
To capture it for later use
And carry it around with me
Every time I almost let it slip
And tell you I love you,
I kiss you instead,
And swallow it back
And burn with the satisfaction that I’m torturing myself.

I want to taste myself on your lips
I want my tongue in your mouth so I can come
I listen to the reverberations of our voices
Between the slopes of our necks
And inside the basins of our collarbones
I think about you whispering to me
And it doesn’t matter what you say
You said I make you feel less strange,
And I just want to take all of the healing that exists inside of me
And transfer it into your back
When I pet you,
And hold you to me

/

It doesn’t make sense to tell you that I love you
What I’m feeling is the swallowing back of words
The quiet burning that I know that what we have is unspeakable
Presque.

It is the satisfaction through stimulation
The buzzing in the back of my chest
The warm air on what feels like my heart
Wrapped up in bedding and each other
Your teeth
Your perfect teeth
You always sound like a sleepy male lover in a movie
— Nothing from real life
I’m too analytical,
And that makes me feel like I know myself
Or I’m honest,
But I’m not,
And I do not
The thing about it is
That I

 

 

 

 

Charlie Stern is a standup comedian, the human embodiment of a chihuahua, and the transgender answer to Dale Gribble. They have been published previously in Visceral Uterus, Weasel’s Vagabond, and a few others. They bring a Jewish flavor of chaos to everything they do, and proudly identify as a joyless harpy.