considering consent

i want to apologize

to myself
to those whom i’ve misled

to the ones who thought
i was saying yes

to myself who did not
know how to say no

for those moments

when hands went to
places i was not
quite ready for them
to go, and my hands
went to stop them,
and held them,
and then

and then i pretended

to be ready
to be sure
to be willing

i thought i was
i thought i had to be

because it was
so important
to catch that

because i thought
that’s the way
love was
supposed to be

i want to apologize
to anyone who has
been any less
than completely ready
to share herself with me
who felt compelled
whom i convinced

who then pretended

to be ready
to be sure
to be willing

because you thought you were
because you thought you had to be

caught up in the urgency
of wanting to catch a moment
because love is hard to
find and we are taught
to do anything to hold on tight
to the promise of it

for all the times
we went to places
we meant to go as lovers
but went too soon

to myself
to you
i apologize.

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