[Media prompt] ‘I Have Multiple Loves’; Carrie Jenkins makes the philosophical case for polyamory.
If You Were Polyamorous, My Love*
If you loved me, my love, then you would let me love another. He’d be an Asian, like you, but a younger one, with longer hair and a more athletic body. He’d have a goatee, like Lao Tzu, and politely ask permission before he took me. Your eyes would gaze gently at him from beneath your pink forelock, without a hint of jealousy.
If you were polyamorous, then I would become a philosopher of love so that I could spend all my time with others. I’d bring you different men, Vietnamese and maybe Indonesians. I’d watch your eyes when I made love to them. I’d use the bed we sleep in, and when you couldn’t sleep I’d read you some Foucault.
If you read Foucault, I’d take you on a campus tour. We’d go to Berkeley. You’d stand onstage, your pink forelock shining in the lights. The paramilitary wing of the DNC would put down their weapons and weep at the lugubrious beauty of your English.
If the black bloc wept at the lugubrious beauty of your English, they’d rally to burn effigies of that Jewish self-promoter whose campus tour would dwarf our own. His coffers would overflow. His book would rise to Number One on Amazon. Tucker Carlson would interview him. His skin would be softer and his hair more lustrous than mine. Better than yours. We wouldn't understand why people pay attention to him.
And on our campus tour I would find multiple loves, drawn to me and my philosophy. You would be a bridesmaid at my weddings. You’d watch awkwardly in saffron silk that made you look a bit yellower than you really are, listening to my vows that made no promise to ‘forsake all others’. You wouldn’t be jealous or sad, because you’re married to me too.
If I needed something blue, I’d ask the paramilitary wing of the DNC to punch some unsuspecting loser who believed in free speech. Her bruised eye would suffice for something blue. My happiness would become like petals, and I’d turn into a flower. Metaphorically, of course, because even though I’m a philosopher and laugh at scientists I know where to draw the line.
The mononormatives would hate us because you stood in solidarity with me and with my lovers, which would intimidate them. But even small mononormatives can have sharp tongues, and they’d call you a sissy, a cuck, a baka Jap. They’d beat you because of your love for me, shouting as you hid under my dress in a slick of your own blood.
If you were polyamorous my love, I’d train you to attack them. I’d sharpen your fingernails, and teach you the scents of those men, Old Spice and cordite. And then you’d strike, scratching at their chests, because you’re not very tall, and empty their lives onto the floor – and I’d laugh, laugh, laugh.
If I laughed, laughed, laughed, I’d eventually start coughing. So I’d stop doing that. But I would feel sad for their monogamously boring lives. They can never know my polyamorous joy, for it’s like a cross between a bougainvillea and satin panties.
But if you ever are polyamorous, my love, if you love another, I will separate your Nipponese testicles from your aging body and wear them around my neck. Dried of course. I’m not a barbarian.
* With apologies to the Nebula Award winning “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love”, by Rachel Swirsky.