naked & a woman’s touch

two poems by Paige Zubel




I am tangled in your sheets and you are tangled in me and we are limbs spraying sweat and hair and dead skin over every surface of your bedroom

Sex is one of the grossest things the human body can do

We are wine drunk and giddy and I still have my underwear on because I’ll sleep with a lot more people than I’ll actually let see me naked

This is when we are new and we both orgasm quick because we don’t know yet how to ask for the time we really want

You’re thinner than anyone I’ve ever been with and I have to adjust my bones around your bones

A moan catches in your throat and you apologize and I say I like it

A moan catches in my throat and I apologize and you say you like it

Something unnamed catches in both of us and I think we both know it at the same time something that we can’t think about because fuck this is only our fifth date and I still don’t know your middle name or how to move my bones around your bones or 

You put all your weight onto me and I feel the ripple of post-pleasure pulse through your veins

Tighten your calves and release again tighten and release tighten and release

That something unnamed bubbles up in my throat a second time and the tree outside your window taps to us to say I see you you are seen and that thrills me because I think I want to be seen with you I sprayed skin with you and now I want something more 

Sex really is one of the grossest things the human body can do



a woman’s touch

light dappled light light dappling on your sheets on your bed sheets shit your bed sheets your bed sheets split and the light dappled on the rip ripped them more the dappled light like a knife like a knife fight on your bed sheets on your legs legs on my legs so many legs and light like knives unsheathed to score on the sheets the legs our legs my legs blood from the knife from the light from the legs from my legs my legs ripped open scored scoured scratched blood pooling puddle on the sheets on your bed sheets from the legs from my legs why can’t i stop bleeding on your bed sheets close the curtains close close the curtains keep the knives outside keep my legs closed close your legs keep the blood in can’t keep the blood in look how beautiful it is how beautiful my blood is spilling from the legs from my legs spilling from me pooling from me every drop of me in the light dappled light



Paige Zubel is a Philadelphia-based playwright, dramaturg, and producer. Her plays have been developed and produced with over 50 theatre companies including Berridge Conservatory (AMOS AND THE STARS, France), Normal Ave Productions (DEAD MEAT, NYC), and What If? Productions (A STRING BETWEEN MAN AND THE WORLD, NC). Her plays and prose have been published in Smith & Kraus, One Act Play Depot, Every Day Fiction, and Hashtag Queer. She is the Artistic Associate of Shakespeare in Clark Park, National New Play Network Producer in Residence at InterAct Theatre Company, and the Resident Dramaturg at Paper Doll Ensemble. She is a member of The Foundry, an emerging playwright's lab partnered with PlayPenn.