My Parents Never Talked to Me About Sex

Would you believe me if I told you my first exposure to sex,
the details of sex, was a Naruto & Sasuke fanfiction?

I must have been fourteen, thirteen, reading on my little Dell Inspiron
laptop in the middle of the night on, some story I clicked

on without knowing what a lemon was, but suddenly, there was a kind
of touching I hadn’t known before, an intimate pressing of bodies, language

I’d never seen & maybe in the back of my mind I’d made connections,
pulled evidence from implied movie scenes or the crude jokes the boys

in class would make, but this was the first time I really thought about it,
the way two bodies met, conversed with one another in space, in a way

we don’t talk about in the open air. I remember the tightness in my stomach,
the heat in my cheeks, like I’d stumbled across something taboo, something

I wasn’t supposed to understand, but I understood desire, want, I knew there’d
been people in my life who I’d loved in a way I couldn’t explain, who I wanted

something from I didn’t have the words for. I spiraled that night, looking for more
details, more breath & smoke, more body. I remember the first time I touched myself,

I’d read online how to move my fingers, it had said to listen to yourself, that there’d
be a build up, a tightening, that when everything starts to tense keep going, faster,

until everything spills over, until you unspool, crest over the ridge, & after I’d done
it I wondered for a moment if I’d broken something inside of me, the way I was breathing

heavy in the dark under my comforter, if I’d changed something fundamentally,
because how tender I now was, how soft beneath my own fingers I’d become.

The truth is as much as I wanted to worry, I just wanted more, to ride that wave again
& again & again. I think I did break that night, I broke open a part of me that was ready

to be unearthed, I woke her up, I brought her to life.

Jessica Nirvana Ram is an Indo-Guyanese poet and essayist. She is the 2022-23 Stadler Fellow in Literary Arts Administration. Jessica completed her MFA at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and received her BA from Susquehanna University. Her work–about inheritance, expectations, and radical self love–appears in Hayden’s Ferry Review, HAD, and Honey Literary, among others. Find her @jessnirvanapoet on Twitter.

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