A Sestina for “Matthew”*

I never met a man who was quite so confident
in himself.  The way he took charge of me
shrouded his deep insecurity.
Yet lying in the hotel bed, I lay with a man full of hurt,
who believed life had not been kind
to him and it had made him hard.

Reader, he divulged his secrets as his dick was still hard.
(He seemed terribly confident
during the sex - and I thought he said something kind
part-way through.  Turns out, he wasn’t referring to me - 
the giggle I gave obscured my hurt - 
he was referring to himself.  How sexy he was.)  My, the insecurity.

I wondered where this had come from, his insecurity.
He replied he’d been bullied at school - childhood was hard
for him.  Is he sharing his hurt
with genuine sincerity, or is he so confident
in his way with women he feels he can catch me
hook, line and sinker, knowing I’ll be kind?   

I told him I’m really not the kind 
to have sex with random men in hotels.  That’s my insecurity - 
that he would think less of me.
You see, I had found this lockdown hard,
and there was the magnetic pull of this confident
older man.  Little did I know how I’d leave the hotel so hurt.

The way he left swiftly in the morning hurt
more than the sting from the belt around my neck.  (He wasn’t the kind
to play rough, my mistake; I conflated his confident
disposition with a desire for rough sex.)  Tapping into my insecurity, 
I worried I had put him off, that I had played too hard.
In that hotel, I learnt trust should be the foundation for someone to be rough with me. 

We vacated the room, disposed of the keycard and then he kissed me
as he walked off to his car.  In the back of my mind, I felt hurt
and believed we would have to work hard  
for this to develop into a romance, of some kind.
Can you really build a relationship on rough sex and insecurity?
No, you cannot, and of that, I am confident.

“The thing about me,” he said, “is I’m one of a kind.”
But his artificial words hurt, and now I’ve developed this insecurity -
making me hard, or perhaps feel less confident.

*Name has been changed.

Photo by Rhema Kallianpur on Unsplash

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