The Opposite of Bitter is Not You


The opposite of bitter is not you,
A sweet taste in my mouth,
And I spit it out,
Musty and flavored like something kept in the attic.

You approach me in emails,
You approach me in texts,
You approach me on webcam,
And I flee.

Each message starts like you never met me,
And we are sitting across from one another,
In some dive in another country,
Some place where I can only understand every thirtieth word.

I cup your chin in my palm to look at you,
But all I can see is your ass,
And we both look down,
Forgetting every thirtieth conversation,
Every thirtieth rendezvous.

I spit you out,
I can’t have this mouthful of ass and forgotten words,
Rolling around my tongue like a gumball,
A candy I never had in my childhood.

Spit you into the wind,
Into another world where monsters live,
All teeth and matted hair,
Mouth to mouth, spitting broken teeth,
Blood pooling up under my tongue,
And coating each slippery sentence.

You are my bitter bear,
An animal living in the hole under my heart,
I swallow, and my drool drips warm and succulent,
You lay in a pool of me,
So sweet.

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About Avery Cassell

Avery Cassell is a genderqueer San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist, and artist who grew up in Iran. They live with their Maine Coon cat, Lulu, and bake yeasted waffles every Sunday morning. Behrouz Gets Lucky is their first novel. You can find their erotic short stories sprinkled in various anthologies, including Best Lesbian Erotica 2015 and Sex Still Spoken Here. Avery is currently working on a book of more of Behrouz and Lucky's shenanigans, a memoir, and an illustrated early reader children's book about a eight year old transgender boy and his family.
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