How Humans Make Love
At sex therapy they preach that men are from Mars and women, Venus. Like we don’t know already! They tell us about individual solar systems and weathers and dialects and
languages, how you speak in tongues I don’t understand. They’re right about that. You speak potato and I tomato, we share no common five a day ground.
‘I love tomato.’ I speak quietly, try and slip it past you.
‘Well I don’t. Potato, though…’
You eye up the potato masher, but I’m clear. ‘No way.’
So we take French lessons, the universal language of love. Feminine and masculine, we sort and slice words accordingly, find our new tongue easy to learn, crunch French onions, suckle on French soup, guzzle garlic, and French kiss. We fuck with a French letter, just the once. We get carried away, over reach and pop the Champagne cork too soon so when the next week comes we don’t. We go back to therapy and take instruction instead.
I must try potato and you, tomato.
It’s new to us, all this, not what we’re used to. Still, I give potato a go because I love you. I French it up for fun; pomme de terre, Dauphinoise, gratin with Brie, and French fries. It’s still no good. Potato too carb heavy, I’m bloated, too fat for fellatio, starchy and full. I miss fresh fruit in my mouth, and you. You do as you’re told too and taste tomato, a la Provençale, ratatouille then raw, but my tomato gives you a rash.
We start to think maybe that sex therapy is a load of rubbish. We think you’re best staying away from tomato, because that rash really is getting quite bad now. Scratching is not sexy. Or is it? Back at home, it’s not. Seen as sexy, that is. It’s all so strange here.
We decide the different languages thing, it’s not so bad. We understand each other most of the time and that’s what counts. We decide we’re ok the way we are, because it was just a blip, all this. I decide maybe potato is okay really. Manageable, I can live with it.
We decide to try again.
We decide to do things our way, and decide to go home.
And we decide it’s weird, how Earth people make love.
First published in Slim Volume 3 : This Body I Live In (Pankhearst, 2015)