[The one in need of forgiveness is me.]
The one in need of forgiveness is me.
I surrender all. It is a virtue
to submit to higher powers. Lost control
is hard to find again, impossible
to put everything back where it once was.
How I enjoy sex is predetermined,
the way I receive my blessings is fixed.
Role play, tying a body to a soul.
And then sometimes I am Criseyde's thin waist
but still sometimes I am Troilus' spear.
Constricting knot, functional and pleasing
to the eye, how symmetrical it is.
However you may judge me, dear reader,
Mark the depths of consent. I want it, bad.
Nicholas Goodly is the author of Black Swim (Copper Canyon, 2022). They are a team member of the performing arts platform Fly on a Wall and Poetry Editor for The Southeast Review. Nicholas was a finalist for the 2020 Jake Adam York Prize, runner-up for the 2019 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and recipient of the 2017 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship, among other awards. Their work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The New Yorker, Boston Review, BOMB, The Poetry Project, Lambda Literary, Narrative Magazine, and elsewhere.