Opal Palmer Adisa

me was, after all, in me own house, in me own bed in  the darkness of night and although me was alone me was being quiet with my middle finger of my right hand rubbing the nub of my clitoris while my left fingers tweaked my  nipples and my mind was in an elevator sandwiched between two men one on his knees going down on me and the other with his groin gyrating on my arse when the voices barged into the privacy of my self-pleasure and hollered out loud enough for my next door neighbor to hear

is wha dis we see-in    is wha a really gwane here

yuu forget how old you be     yu is somebody granny

and you a gwane so   but hold up     stop it now

yu hear                       stop it              yu too old fi still want sex

me so frighten  me finger freeze     poised on my clitoris but the orgasm gone      the feeling raw inside me           me want bawl            me want curse          even the two men inside me head freeze too   me a look pan them trapped tongues and hands and mouth useless like cut out figures     but you see now        you see my crosses   wha age ahfi do wid pleasure          what age have to do with sex        so me is seventy and me have 4 grands whom me love but as me tell me son and daughter who think whenever them want them can drop them off that me is not that kind of grandmother    me done wipe bottom and clean nose done          me get me nails manicure every two weeks cannot be in the water or running behind little people    me work out four days a week at the gym

me still have needs but now them damn voice loud loud like them       want to expose me             like them think my private desire is anyone          business

is not like me sitting down in half way tree park with all the other mad people and illegal vendors with me legs spread and  a dildo         dangling between me legs           a tell yu you see        if cut eye did work    the voices would be split in two like how the lighting split that    lignuvitae tree clean down the middle

but me not bad-minded                    me nuh cuss nor like being inna contention so me close me eyes tight    draw the cover up to me neck clap the pillow between me legs and tun me back to the voices     mek them gwane like dem is police or the sex monitor bout me old    dem much older than me truth be told them older than time itself and time well old but mek then gwane             even though me mother dead me memba what she used to say to me time longa dan rope

me gwame silent them damn voices with me back           dem lucky a don’t have  chamber pot or me would fill it with piss and dash it in them face             damn fas and out of order   the voices dem acting like the gestapo more like the ton-ton macoute

many people have this weird notion that when you get to a “certain” age —old age—for some that certain feelings and desires go dormant or forgotten

but 20 or 70 me is still woman and the same longing come down strong on me

and is try hard me ahfi try hard to not gwame bad          push a firm young man             against a wall and grind him until him buddy hard like rock stone

but me is woman and dem would laugh and cuss and say is what mad this old woman mek she a gwane so   but a man my age and older can parade a girl younger than him granddaughter and eberyone look on with envy even though every woman over forty who have had a man over forty know nuh matter how you grind such a man him buddy might stand up but it nah stand up long enough fi please yu

the voice them fold them hand        push out them mouth and listen to what me a say inna my head             me can feel them listening and me know them a wait for the right time fi jump pan me  me brace meself

yu best shet yu mouth if yu know what good fah yu  the voice them finally say             a see how them chest a heave like when man vex vex and him can’t see notten but him bruised ego so him tek up de machete fi chop up even lizard that cross him path    so me stop think anything inna me head afta me nuh idiot       de voice them stand up around me bed like soldier pan duty them chest a heave like full pot a boil ova

me close me eyes tight tight and soon sleep come           snoring out all de voices

but what them don’t know is that me back in the elevator and the man dem not cut out anymore and me finger unfreeze.

Image credit: Poster for Maya Cozier’s latest project, “She Paradise.”

Opal Palmer Adisa is living her life full out, basking in the sun, meditating on the blue mountains from her veranda and just being grateful for each moment and each day. With twenty published titles to her credit, she looks forward to the holiday release of her children’s book, Dance Quadrille and Play Quelbe and is putting the finishing touches on her poetry/prose collection, Returning to Return, and her photo/prose on Haiti, entitled, Stand.