How to Know if I Consent

Consent is given when
I say yes, place your hands
on me, take hold;

I give you permission to
know me inside
and out;

I speak your name with
please do stroke me
with fingers on your keyboard;

When there is distance
touch me in every private
and public space;

Condense me to yours
with words and even
typos, missed strokes
or mixed messages because

I am willing
to be held.

Not
I am willing to be hostage to
your expectations
emotions
wishes
prods
or likes.

Not
I am willing to be driven by
your anger
sadness
or joy.

Rather
I expect you to
respect me
whether I am loving
or hurting
or living
as best I can.

In short,
consent is you agreeing that
what I want matters
even when I want differently
than you.

***

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