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BARE Executive Board Seth Johnstone................................................................................................President Rachael Bowen................................................................................................Vice President Kelsey Weiner...................................................................................................Secretary Emily Cohen....................................................................................................Treasurer Hillary Hersh....................................................................................................PR/Design BARE Editing Committee Maya Gittelman..............................................................................................Literary Editor Mollie Welch....................................................................................................Literary Editor Skylar Kergil.....................................................................................................Art Editor Megan Duffy.....................................................................................................Art Editor Hillary Hersh & Seth Johnstone...............................................................Layout Design

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The purpose of BARE is to create an intimate and open community of sexual positivity through honest dialogue and the development of a safe space. BARE attempts to break down harmful sexual stereotypes and promote various forms of fulfilling, consensual sexuality. We aim to give a voice to the taboo, the shameful, the invisible and the unheard. Whether or not you agree with the opinions expressed herein, they are relevant to you and our campus [Skidmore College] because whether we abstain, enjoy, or dabble, we are all sexual beings.

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fine. sometimes sex is (what word do you think I’ll say? extraordinary? awkward? terrible, life-changing?) sometimes sex is fine

where I peak and he leaves and I lay there vulnerable, cold, messy, bare and I say to myself I am fine. Fine. but sex that is fine is like grilled chicken and bland vegetables it happens, it sticks to the outline, finger here, kiss there a few minutes (if you’re lucky) and then, bam. fine.

many things in life are “fine” a day where nothing happens, or when things are fucked up, insane neurotic, emotional… when you eat a bland grilled chicken dinner or have a class with reading and no laughing

you leave or they leave or maybe, maybe no one leaves and you fly to that place within yourself that likes color and heartache and magic and always always always always you would rather have sex that makes you feel more than fine

fine. i am fine, most of the time, it is my mantra of the aftermath of the storm that tore my soul into pieces, ripped my heart out and shredded it with some sick pleasure. to that I reply I am “fine”

because too many things are fine already.

and there have been times (glorious vulnerable, heartbreaking) times when he’s right there right there, in me, in and out and hips are hitting and clutching each other with bruises forming and bite marks, possession, sweat, moans, screams more more more yes yes, oh yes! 5


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Persephone I ate six seeds from the pomegranate. I pulled the ruddy bulb from the tree and I held it, considering the ordered chaos inside. There was no trickery or fateful accident. I always knew what the outcome would be. I ate six seeds from the pomegranate. I pried it open and tore it, stained and syrupy, to handfuls like geodes of crimson droplets embedded in the pale, silky flesh of the rind. I touched each jewel with my fingertips, I pulled away the fine white sheet that covered them and one by one, I coaxed them free firm and full to bursting and the fine film broke and spilled just a little red, sour and sweet. I ate six seeds from the pomegranate, and I’ve been half in bliss and half in hell, and I would leave the whole world frenzied, frozen to taste the life in the fruit of the dead again.

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Lucia Akard The sadness and stubbornness of patriarchy is not only found in the ankle length skirts worn by women on the subway who were born merely to procreate, or in the forced clitorectomies of Africa that haunt my dreams and the waking steps of millions (because fuck, you wouldn’t want us to have more fun than you). It is also found on a liberal college campus in a classroom where the desks are arranged in a circle and I am so used to being considered for my body’s curve before my mind’s point, that I no longer take offense at their disinterested stares or silencing interruptions.

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Seth Johnstone Gender I didn’t have it once And I thought I was too Weird to live Then she told me I was too rare to die And we forgot how my curves flowed And where the tissue lied On my body We forgot most of it Except our Skin That held everything together And I remembered we were both made of 61.8% water And when I cried We swam below the crashing of the waves Below the cacophony of hate And I found myself Waking Alive On the shores Of compassion

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Pieces Your knees come first, my sense of touch. Your eyes are unalterably green, that is all. I depend on you, your back. Your hair is a pillow of comfort, your jokes temptation and fear, your mouth something that exists to be stopped with my kisses, your cheek misses my fingertips, and your friendship? That is on a different side of my life entirely, the “social” side- and your bed? It belongs to my feet- they remember best the texture of your sheets. The books you read? My futuristic floating library. And my arms? I apologize, they are not for you- I gave them to someone else yesterday since you weren’t using them- but I have two fingers left, and one ear if you want it. My tongue was swept away by a friend I miss terribly, but on the weekend it will come back and you can rent it then. My shoulders are off limits, reserved for my last love- but my thighs are not reserved by anyone, only belong to me, and I can give them away freely. My lower back, however, is not to be trifled with, so always ask permission first, even if I’m naked in your arms. And another thing. Don’t touch my toes (or nose, for that matter,) unless you want to be stuck with me for the rest of your life. My heart throbs there incessantly, and occasionally explodes from being over-enthused. I wonder what my brain looks like when it’s confused.

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Lucia Akard I waited each day with him for the passion to spring anew— and it did, but only between flannel sheets and up against stairwells and in tightly enclosed back seats, the moonlight shining on us through unwashed window panes illuminating my most carnal desires and in them, the emptiness that hollow, heinous sex always holds. There is only so much healing that orgasm after orgasm can gift. And there comes a point when your lover knows every stroking motion to make you moan and every crevice inside you that begs to ache but knows nothing of your heart or the needed administrations to make it beat in time with his own.

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My First Tattoo Rachel Attias

shower, squeezed my own thighs under the family dinner table. I tried to give myself the orgasms he had so expertly divined from me in the past, but remained unsuccessful. I could not come without him, could not be without him; I was weak and wasting away. I told no one what I was about to do, except for two school friends who were too far away to stop me. After driving the wrong direction for twenty minutes, I sped straight to the tattoo parlor. My trembling hand gave the boy behind the counter my 18-year-old ID, and my thin voice told him what I wanted and where I wanted it. I chose the font and the size. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t even chuckle like I hoped he would. My epic gesture of eternal love bored him. My friend was right—getting a tattoo feels just like an electric cat scratch that goes on for way too long. There was a mirror right in front of my face. I stared hollowly into my own eyes the whole time. I thought about him fucking me from behind, and seeing his own name, and knowing that I was his forever, that all of my sexual fervor would be for his enjoyment for the rest of my life. I was making it official, I thought. I was inking my devotion into my flesh. I wanted him to kiss

Almost everything that we said those days was pillow talk. Literally, we had both become too lazy to do much of anything but lay in his bed, get high and hold each other. One of those times, we drifted to the topic of what I would have to do to get him back if I ever cheated on him. “You’d have to get my name tattooed right here,” he joked, grabbing my ass in two handfuls. His already strong obsession with my ass had only been heightened very recently, when I finally let him fuck me there after months of begging. “And not just my nickname—the whole thing, middle initial and last name, too.” We both laughed at that and his hands squeezed tighter, pulling our hipbones together and initiating another of our classic, lazy rolls in the hay. It was that conversation that led me to do what I did about a year later. I had cheated on him, we had broken up, it was winter break, and I was utterly consumed with loneliness. I counted the days since I last had sex. I kissed my own shoulders in the morning, cupped my own breasts in the

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me and spank me like he used to. I wanted him to come right there, right on the fleshy part of my body that was his and his alone. The ink blacked out the infidelity. Now I carried two names, the one that I was born with, and his. When it was over, I thanked the boy and emptied my wallet. In my car, I pulled down my pants despite the smarting, frigid December air. I snapped a phone picture of the red, raised name on my right butt cheek and texted it to him with no words. I sat awkwardly on my sore ass the whole drive home, and a few hours later received a response: “I want to see it.” We dragged out another five months of a relationship after that, until neither of us had much of ourselves left. After it was over, I showed his name to another boy. He said it was his favorite thing about me. He laughed at my crazy spontaneity. I laughed too. He bit me and spanked me and fucked me better than I’d ever been fucked. And he didn’t mind one bit looking at that part of me, that ink under my skin that says “I have loved someone else and I will never be the same and there is no room for your name on my right butt cheek as well.” He laughed with me about it, he kissed me on it, and he

put to bed my worries that no one would ever want a girl with another man’s name on her ass. Then we went our separate ways and I felt good. I feel good. I never feel more like myself than when I think about that other person’s name under my skin, and I laugh and laugh and laugh.

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I took a shower and shivered as the water grew hotter Shivered because of the way you touched me I never knew you’d touch me And I didn’t ask you to. When you wait for the darkness And think you are invisible And think you are invincible And that I cannot feel your hand And my brain cannot feel your breath But somehow my body will obey Close the door Lie down for you Because you told me with your hands that you want me to… I’m washing them now. I have been painted in humiliation With brushstrokes on my back And on my head And if I ask you assertively To get out of my bed You look at me like a hurt puppy Like a bitch taking your prize Taking your fake id Because you are only a child Unwanted in the sheets of a woman’s bed Get out of my head.

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His voice was in the wind over the sea. It haunted me as long as I was not sleeping. His wheel ground my fingers to dust Until there were no gestures left in me No opinions left to suppress. I fell out of a storm cloud And into his bed. In my head I sorted us through eachother And it worked. Our bodies fit together. I tried for your eyes and found your shoulders. I tried for your shoulders and found your waist. I found your waist and you forced me into your eyes. Why don’t your fingertips linger long enough on my face? Because they always should They should always be on my face And we should weave our poems into our skinI would have let you in.

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Future Sex too were being hugged by the covers that had just soaked up Lily Manganiello the sweat that became of perfect ecstasy. But they stayed there, above this person that was so briefly a part of them but now seemed so distant and alone. Their hair was tangled, face red and they were panting, their body in complete ecstasy. “This is beauty,” they thought. Two Kai knew nothing of sex. They were conceived in a dish, bodies moving in one single motion, welded together as an they had no reproductive capabilities or sex education for individual form, one entity brought together by none other that matter, but at the ripe age 16 they had desires. Desires than the act of intercourse. Consumed by pleasure because to be touched, to touch, to move within someone, to be so sex was for nothing else anymore. Kai and Fin were barren, consumed by another person and their pleasure that their everyone was. unity was a natural high. Reproduction through intercourse was long a thing of the past. So long that Kai had no living Fin was lying in a disheveled bed while Kai stood above them. relatives that had conceived a child “naturally.” Nobody did. Fin made noises that indicated to Kai that they were awake but also entirely asleep. Their hair clung to their face, their body Their instincts, however, were still there. changing shape at they continued to dream. Kai stayed above them, watching them dream and dreaming themselves that they Kai stayed standing but inched their face closer and closer

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to Fin’s, careful not to wake them with their breath or their presence. Kai looked at Fin’s eyes, so lightly closed that Kai’s inevitable exhale nearly blew them open. Kai longed for them to wake up, longed to see their eyelids crease little by little until the glowing brown of their eyes struck the blue of theirs.

they sensed Kai’s eagerness. They quickly became in sync with each other and their lips opened, wider, faster, wetter than ever before. The moment is lost in moans, confused, craving moans. They were one again. Their bodies had taken over one another as they both lost control. It was over.

They stirred. Kai moved. Fin awoke.

They still do not understand. Don’t understand that overpopulation had stolen their reproductive organs. Don’t understand what sex is, why they want to do it, and why no one has ever told them how. All they understand is this bliss. This overwhelming, all consuming bliss. Kai rolls their hand down Fin’s naked back and burrows it into the depths of this moment and starts all over again.

Kai’s satisfaction had faded. They needed to feel that pleasure, that mysterious pleasure again if only to have some indication of what made them feel so light but so heavy at the same time. Fin touched them. A simple yet signifying touch that it was Fin who had given them this unbelievable euphoria. They craved to understand. Their knees hit the bed first then their chest. Fin could feel the heat of Kai’s heart. Their face was calm,

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For Her Abby Outterson Lean forward, so I can unfold my finger along your spine Lean into my hip, I want to course through your blood. Let me be with you silently. We can soak together in your scent. The stench of your mouth won’t make you mine. The perfume on my fingers won’t taste sweeter on your lips. But my hips can sense when your hips draw near. They can hear you breathing And with my ear pressed to your navel, I can feel your blood beating. But where are the marigolds I promised you in the dead of the winter? Where are the dragonflies we jarred? I had a dream and you were in it and I was 13 or so. And you told me I wanted you and you left me confused. And now I can’t find your heartbeat with my hands. Only with my ear.

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awkward i am really awkward (chubby, silly, sensitive, smart-ass and I have moments, moments where I want to be you. or anyone, especially that girl who does yoga moves perfectly in a sports bra and bike shorts looking like she could meditate her way into the perfect world unlike me. who is stumbling my way into chaos) and the first time I crawled into bed with him (him who is nameless to you, whose curls I can’t describe with simple words but he loves to feel my fingers tangled in them, my lips around him, my fingers dancing patterns) i knew certain, assured that I would become (like Ariel a human or Mulan a man) a sex goddess.

for the sake of this confession, and I stared at his you know. his down there. his… it was big and purple(ish) and hard and it looked kind of cute like a puppy desperate to play? and i wanted to say oh wow, nice dick but that’s what I called him now or I could say cock but I thought of roosters and the mornings penis. P is for prick E is for enormous N is for not-so-pretty I is for… I, gaping at “it” S is for sex. which my staring prevented therefore instead of talking I just said no words and took it in my mouth and that was awkward too because no fairy god mothers turned me, an apple into a sex goddess.

that well, that didn’t happen

but at least then I didn’t have to name it.

instead I became me who is also nameless

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An Exercise in Humanity Jennifer Florence Do you not wish to admire me? The tender swell of brain and breast sloping to meet Crags of hipbone jutting promiscuously below the natural waist, natural beauty Wasted by electricity’s end

The machine rat spends his entire life creating a sun that is not the sun but is the sun in replication (they swear by it for the school children’s well being as nothing is better than the artificial) while he neglects his son that plays in the actual. Truly, we are wonderful creatures.

I want to take delight in your body, your valium tongue Quell the minor indiscretions of the day and Give willingly to honesty My breasts two moons over campus, your hand the star to my sky If the leaves peering inside can’t judge you, why would I?

Drawn to lights’ undulating swells, Sailors enthralled by the pushing sea’s great shuddering We honor these bright particles by our presence Yet there is something unnatural about having sex with the light on! We burrow away, mole men and women for Our most primal act, instinctual to the muscle But insulted by vanities. (The consequence of consciousness, I suppose) you instructed, “Turn off the last light”

The least you can do is turn on the light and look me in the eye.

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Lily Manganiello I’ve seen angels on the highway Running fingers through their hair I’ve seen Aphrodite bathing But she didn’t really care But I can’t see you

I saw Bonnie with a Tommy gun Before she went to jail I saw Clyde with Johnny Dillinger And Theo with the mail But I can’t see you

I’ve seen talent in the underground And impostures on the stage I’ve seen monkeys wearing business suits And prophets in a cage But I can’t see you

I’ve seen leagues of big white horses I’ve seen bands of angry men I’ve seen Midas give his gold away  And take it back again But I can’t take you

I saw Dylan change an industry He never had to try I saw Edie smoking cigarettes As Andy watched her die But I can’t watch you

I’ve seen teenagers on Ambien They’re shaking at the hands I’ve seen lovers leave companionship To break another man But I can’t love you

I’ve walked with gypsies in the desert Sat with Venus in the sand I saw the devil down in Georgia And I tried to take his hand But where are you

I’ve seen criminals in Watergate And Nixon take the fault I’ve seen Marylyn in photographs And Ghandi making salt But I can’t make you

And high above this city There’s something greater than all this fear And I will always love this city But this place aint the same without you here

And high above this city There’s something greater than all this fear And I will always love this city But this place aint the same without you here

I’ve seen this city turn to ashes And the pentagon in flames I’ve seen Luther preach to millions With honor to his name But I can’t see you

I’ve seen maidens leap from towers  Into arms of sturdy knights I’ve seen teenagers in prison Just for putting up a fight But I can’t see you

I saw Bonham fall to alcohol  And Kurt to loving hands I’ve seen Jimmy with a double neck And Bowie with a man But I can’t see you 32


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Upon Finishing Mrs. DallowayBut she was too tired, now. She was too tired to write the way she’d been so inspired only minutes, only hours ago. How long was the shower? The smells were intoxicating. They lured her in and made her forget herself. After she’d smoked a cigarette too well, inhaled too deeply-- after she’d crawled on her knees into the shower, anointed her head with vanilla gel, the sickly sweetness of the smell brought her closer to her childhood friend, they’d spent times together, all the times she remembered. All the moments of being a girl, a real girl, were with Traci. She anointed her own head, naked, a teenage girl, a virgin, in a woman’s body. She couldn’t write with adjectives. She was useless with words like “virginized,” what did that mean and

where did it come from? But here she was, anointing herself. It is corporate and mass produced, and it is all for you. I am in church, on my knees. I am shaving my legs for the first time with my best friend in her parent’s bath. She has raspberry shaving cream. My knees are bleeding. I bow in the shower, my forehead against the wall. I can’t look at my naked body. I look at it. Is it beautiful? Will it smell pure when I come out? I am anointed. I am virginized. Its scent erases me. If only the water wouldn’t wash it away. But the water washes it all away. I was going to write about bringing flowers. I was going to

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write about redemption and disillusionment. I was going to write about how quickly flowers wilt in a vase or in a plastic water bottle or in a handle of vodka. I was going to write about drunken kisses and moral equality. Why do we long after people who don’t want to be around us? Why do we long to be around people we don’t want to be around?

moment of lucidity. I tried again when I got home. Everything was going to be clear when I got home. This time the orgasm lasted. As long as I was in the water, it lasted. I shivered and moaned. My friends watched from the shore with curiosity. I waited for the police to come. Let them interrupt me. Home refuses to offer me clarity. How dare them lure me back. I am the enlightened one, now. I know that I will be tricked countless times more. Going back is dangerous. Going back is shameful. How will I ever go back to shame?

I have inhaled steam. I breathe clouds and let the clock do the rest. I had a moment of lucidity, in the shower, and then a real one when I watched the sunrise. I once dove into an icy glacial stream naked in New Zealand. We got out of the van and I stripped and dove in. The orgasm didn’t last, but it was fantastic. I did it because I promised myself I would. Then I did it again to prove to myself it wasn’t the only reason. It was the

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Each person I had sex with taught me different things. I learned that I needed to joke more, listen less, shave my armpits, and shave my legs. I needed to walk and talk like I had nothing to prove- suck in my stomach, dresses easily removed. I needed to know how to do everything very, very well. More moisture, the right rhythm, a rarely bestowed smile. There were the few who taught me I had nothing to do. I was myself. They taught me I was too good for them. I always moved on. They sewed holes in my soul, and I loved each one.

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notes in passing Maya Gittelman because we made a world together and worlds don’t die even when every star in a constellation gets so bright and old they burst – they leave traces like stardust and the shuddering waves that nearby planets feel and the ripples in the universe that reach out and out and tickle distant moons and the shivers that trill through me some evenings when it’s dusky or some afternoons when I’m only trying to get some damn work done years later but something in the curves and crevices and angles of my own handwriting belongs to you now we were young and tired and high school was loud buzzing with science teachers who lost faith in the writer and the artist very early on and the endless pages of problems and questions and the steady omniscient thrum, the mantra of fitting in

it should have deafened me but with you it was quiet every single class your bony knee jabbing into my thigh my chubby cheek crushed into your shoulder and between our colored pen collections (from our annual trip to clear out Staples as best we could) and our failed homework assignments we’d turn the page over and create a language all our own call it passing notes now ‘cause you see it like a grown-up now see it like you’re looking back on when you were a child but I’m looking back on when you were mine when I was yours when crabbed doodles and nonsense rhymes and afternoon plans and movie quotes and the photoshoot ideas and the flower drawings and the foolish gossip and the sketches of our

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favorite characters became our names over and over with hearts this time, in the calligraphy your mother taught us the next upside-down and backwards sideways and then entangled together our names over and over together

but to me I see brick I see mortar and brick and ink and stone the makings of a home we had just begun to build before we grew up.

passing notes no, no we were weaving the stories of our lives together we were writing the stories of our lives together word by word line by line creating a language no one but us could ever hope or want to understand and even if you try to give someone else a key even if you try to teach them how to turn the lock the prize inside will look like coal to them and nothing more

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The tips of mouths and fingers And the corner of Mrs. Darling’s mouth. Never lied. She won’t get it back. There is a tip of truth in a lip where my salt tastes like your salt. So who gets the salt? In the end, who gets the lie and Who gets the salt?

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I love my sweat. It smells like the sea. It smells like the people I’ve kept close to me. It smells like hot chocolate in Mom’s hands as she Cheers me on. It smells like the wind in my face as I run. I love my sweat. It smells like a river. It smells like our breaths panting together. It smells like a boat, it smells like a bed. It smells like rhythm and warm words and a clear head. I love my sweat. It smells like polished floors. It smells like faded words on dance studio doors. It smells like discarded clothes; a congratulatory rose. It smells like makeup and laughter, with a cast party after. It smells like sing-song blues- it smells like belonging. It smells like memories that forgot they were forgotten. Like the sex of last summer. Like the sheets I slept under. Like a pizza crust Rolled through my fingertips. Liked a mourning run through Morning mist. Like a sky kept cloudy by a Darkening promise.

Like being 4 minutes late. Like being 6 minutes, or 3 minutes, or 3 days late, Like waiting impatiently so as to not have to wait. It smells like stress. Like trying on a thousand dresses because One will distinguish you from all the rest. It smells like beauty. Because it smells like pain. It smells like my blistered feet danced clean from dancing in the rain; And reminds me of trying. Of dying. Of salty sandy tears drying On the shore of my insecurities. I love my sweat. It smells like the sea. I love my sweat. It smells like me.

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Lily Manganiello I dream of you in colors that don’t exist And chase you like I used to chase dandelion seeds. As I explore the crevasses of your collarbone I remember what it feels like comb through grass just to see how wide I can spread my fingers. Your tongue still lingers on my insides and I can feel it in the hairs on my thighs And even though you have sunk deep into the pit of my memories You are still finding new ways to touch me without your fingertips.

That you just express your feelings differently And suddenly I soaked alone The water swimming with my blood cells The space in front of me still molded to your form I could feel your leg hair floating against my skin Grasping for breath Grasping for flesh Grasping for whatever was left I looked at the valleys amidst my fingers And remembered how we used to kiss like if we ever stopped There would be something we would have missed Like if I waited one more minute, one more second To undress you To taste you To touch you Rub you Or make you moan I knew that would be one more minute, one more second That I wouldn’t Suck you Lick you Smack you Or make you ache. I wish I could have you. Love me. Take me. Don’t make me wait.

I didn’t learn much from you but you always reminded me to save the dirt beneath my nail beds so I always leave behind more dust than I take away. But what I didn’t learn was why your touch always felt like silk and sharp fingernails And why loving you scared me more than bone ends I remember a day when the bath water was warm And you fit between my fingers Your touch became my skin and I forgot about my breath My muscles And the body beneath the bathwater We sat and soaked in the filth of awkward, messy love And I used it to cover the rolls of my stomach You told me you’d miss me 48


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We at Bare would like to express our support for marriage equality. At BARE, we believe that every person deserves love, and the right to safely and unrestrictedly share that love with others. Everybody deserves the right to healthy, respectful, consensual relationships, sexual experiences, communication, and expression. Safety and equality are paramount to healthy sexuality, and individuals and partnerships have the right to be honored for that.

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Art Contributors* Seth Johnstone................................................................................................10, 20, 42 Sarah Dinkelacker............................................................................................13 Lily Manganiello..............................................................................................22, 23 Rachael Bowen.................................................................................................26, 33 Rachel Aisenson..............................................................................................29 Jenna Kellett......................................................................................................30 Rebecca Baruc..................................................................................................34, 35 Maiya Celeste...................................................................................................44 Elena Scott........................................................................................................49

*The majority of the art and literary submissions were anonymous. 51


Know Your Resources:

Skidmore’s Center for Sex and Gender Relations:

518-580-8255

The Center’s Weekend Hotline: 518-256-1439 Skidmore College Counseling Center: 518-580-5555

Rape Crisis Service of Saratoga County 24-Hour Hotline:

Be safe. Love each other, Love yourself, Love, BARE

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518-587-2336


Special Thanks To:

Student Government Association Office Services All student art and lit contributers Without all of you BARE would not be possible.

Visit our blog at: skidmorebare.wordpress.com

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2013 BARE Magazine