When love is good, it’s gross.

Michaela Cross

January 31, 2014 | Sweat | February 2014

I sit in a room with windows for walls, suffused with snowlight and the smell of my lover’s sweat. My room is in post-carnival disarray, with condom wrappers for confetti and a scattering of dirty underwear. The smell of that sweat is absolute innervation, and it reminds me of this:

When love is good, it’s gross.

Love, like smell, once gone isn’t something you can remember. I can’t remember the others’ scents. But they hid them anyway in cologne and cigarettes, and likewise I hid myself in flowersmell. So maybe smell is like love and can’t be remembered, but it seems to me now that nothing like these dirty sheets ever smelled so good.

My love is bodily, not platonic. It moves to the rhythm of my blood and bowels. I wouldn’t trade the dead skin flakes from my lover’s forehead for fairy dust any sooner than I’d take cardboard for cake. Love of books is dry as pages; love in my panopticonal bedroom is wet with sweat.

The condoms in my waste bin are too honest to seem dirty. They’re innocent and helpless as beached jellyfish. As clear and shameless as my bedroom with its wall-less windows. As clear and shameless as you with your innocent sweat.


  1. ajay
    February 8, 2014

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    Hi..i like your “when love is good,it’s gross”…..but…Love is patient,love is kind. It does not envy,it does not boast,it is not proud. It does not dishonor others,it is not self-seeking,it is not easily angered,it keep no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects,always trusts,always hopes,always perseveres. Love never fails……..i think this is Love….and now these three remain; faith,hope & love. But the greatest of these is..LOVE……..love always good

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