SEVEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT VIRGINITY by Leah Mueller, pictured.
1). A glass of milk sits on the table, untouched. Nobody wants to be the first to claim it, though everyone is thirsty. The milk is a big deal, but no one can explain why.
2). The young woman walks down the street a couple of blocks from her home, clutching books to her chest. A carload of men drives by and honks. She is ashamed of herself, even though they are the ones who are behaving like louts. She keeps her eyes on the road ahead of her, but she knows they’ll just drive around the block and return. Next time, they’ll be more insistent.
3). I always thought the whole concept of virginity was devoted to penis-worship. If you never had a penis inserted in your vagina, you were a virgin, even if you’d had orgasms from oral sex, even if someone had inserted his finger in there numerous times, even if you had rubbed against someone so hard that your entire body convulsed. But stick a penis in a vagina, suddenly it was a major deal.
4). The man moves towards the woman. She opens instantly. It’s one of those rare moments when both people want the same thing, and aren’t afraid to show it. Then they both wake up.
5). I have a dream in which I am a virgin again. I decide I don’t need sex to be happy, and that I will go through life as an artist who lives alone. My only contact with men will be through postal letters. I will have an endless parade of postal lovers, who will regale me with propositions that I will never accept, and this will secretly be a relief for them. I keep the letters in a box in the closet. The box swells until it finally bursts open at the seams.
6). A man went searching in the forest for his virginity. It had been eaten by animals a long time beforehand. One of the lions told him it was delicious. The man smiled, since he had been unaware of this.
7). I didn’t lose my virginity. I gave it up voluntarily, and I don’t want it back. If you try to return it to me, not only will there not be a reward, but I’ll never speak to you again. Go find someone else’s virginity. They’ve either been searching for it since they were born, or they never lost it in the first place.
[Leah Mueller is an independent writer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of one chapbook, “Queen of Dorksville”, and two full-length books, “Allergic to Everything” and “The Underside of the Snake.” Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Blunderbuss, Memoryhouse, Outlook Springs, Atticus Review, Sadie Girl Press, Origins Journal, Silver Birch Press, Cultured Vultures, Quail Bell, and many others. She was a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival, and a runner-up in the 2012 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry contest.]