progesterone is a sex hormone. if used to treat vaginal dryness, it can be inserted as a suppository. that’s what the bottle from the pharmacy says, anyway: insert into vagina once daily.
the day of my wedding, i run into the bathroom to see my fiancée in shambles. she is frozen; her long, coffin-shaped acrylic nails twitch despairingly.
as a woman she belittles her emotions. as a person she denies them. i see the panic in her eyes, even as she demurs.
i ask again, the familiar adage: “what’s wrong?”
if one requires progesterone to grow breasts that might cover the gaping wound in their heart, the suppository may go elsewhere.
“i was trying to put in my progesterone.”
“did you… succeed?”
her face goes grim. “it’s stuck to my taint.”
elsewhere may be hard to reach when your claws are yesterday-years-old.
“oh. do you need my help?”
she scoffs like i’m foolish, like she’s foolish, like she should be able to insert womanhood inside herself without ripping something else out.
my assumption is nonetheless correct, so she rolls her eyes. “i guess? if you don’t mind?”
“babe,” i say, tongue swollen with urgency. there are doves in my throat; their warbling coos shake my voice. “i’m marrying you. this is what marriage is about, right?”
water splashes from the faucet, coating my finger with purpose. at first she doesn’t budge — then, i suppose she realizes that the progesterone is melting and her resolve has to outpace it, so she assumes a tense angle bent over the edge of the sink. i lean my face close to her ass until i can see the jellybean-shaped offwhite pill where it’s plastered itself to her perineum. the capsule is a deflated glob, its payload smearing her brown skin with chalky white.
i pluck it from its roost with a horrified reverence. it sticks and tugs as if it’s trying to take a part of her with it, and if i pull too hard the gelatin threatens to yield.
i tell her frequently that her pheromones seize my senses in a horrifying, intimate spasm; she thinks it’s gross.
my touch is shy, but hesitation is forever, and unions are not necessarily forever but the lies i tell when i’m vulnerable are unwelcome here, so i clumsily position the mushed up medicine against her rectum, hoping to turn these fragile fumbling fingers into an arrow delivering a message.
i’ve never been so close to her asshole before, because maybe irrational fears are the strongest, or maybe tacos are just good and bodies are whatever. i don’t take it personal when she folds my interest and tucks it between the pages of her notebook, hoping no one saw enough to suspect a story within its creases.
my daydreams about fucking her step out of the way, allowing me the space to inject the withering pill like a spear to the abdomen. her insides are not prepared for sex, but it’s not sex, just love, so i don’t say anything when my finger comes out covered in something my brain helpfully describes as ‘butt juice.’
i am quick to scrub away the leftovers, scraping the rough edges of exfoliating handsoap against the adrenaline’s hard, quaking afterimage.
after drying my fingers, i indulge in a curious sniff. i tell her frequently that her pheromones seize my senses in a horrifying, intimate spasm; she thinks it’s gross. her body is a withered houseplant she’s not sure how to resurrect. i can’t water it for her.
my enthusiasm doesn’t embarrass me, but in this moment i hope she won’t notice. i refuse to open the window through which she might glimpse a globby creature murmuring tales of doubt. i don’t want her to question this violent loving upon which we will build our commitment, potent and annoying like a stranger on the bus wearing too much fragrance.
i pray for her to not taste shame in this love. devotion is pure and covered in butt juice.
“see? i got you, babe.” i don’t know how confident i sound or how it measures in comparison with how i feel. her single snort of amusement fails to tip me off in either direction. i settle the inner debate with a kiss, our last until it’s time to stare each other down in the gladiator ring of witnesses. i clutch tight to my optimism.