But Don’t Call It Casual

Anna Pulley


Come. Let’s be alive together for an hour, a night. I’ll put my poetry away and just be animal. Let’s forget we’re in our 30s with 401ks and flex spend accounts and organic everything.

Let’s live in the hymn of our sighs, my breath blanketing your neck, your heat drenching me in song.

Come. The only god I believe in is your hand

making and unmaking me in your image.

I don’t know you, we’ve barely spoken, and here I am talking of worship—that old story, that predatory loan. But give me an ounce of your flesh and I shall fall upon your altar. I shall make you born and born again.

My heart I buried months ago—dead and gone and fodder for the worms—but don’t cry, don’t be sad—look, see how rich the soil now? How fat the Hopi red watermelon, the pinole maiz? Each desert fruit, each bright and swell and swoon, is my heart waving (not drowning).

So come, please, and tell me a story you’ve forgotten by heart. Come and let us lay soft as vowels on a bed we’ll never sleep in.

Let us beg and ripen here in this beautiful borrowed moment

because in the lawless dark we all look like our shadows.



Anna Pulley (annapulley.com) is the author of The Lesbian Sex Haiku Book (with Cats!), which Tegan and Sara said was “an adorable and hilarious way to start the day,” Cheryl Strayed called a “must-read,” and actress Jennifer Tilly said was “thoroughly charming.” She writes a weekly sex and dating advice column for The Chicago Tribune and been published in New York magazine, Mother Jones, The Washington Post, San Francisco magazine (the issue she contributed to won a National Magazine Award), Vice, Salon, BuzzFeed, and many others. She was also named a Top LGBTQ Writer on Medium. Her writing was excerpted/quoted in Esther Perel’s recent book, The State of Affairs. She’s been a repeat guest on Dan Savage’s podcast, “Savage Love,” on Daniel Lavery’s “Dear Prudence” podcast, and most recently on the popular “99% Invisible” podcast.