Poem: Foreplay

Sarah McMahon
2 min readMay 27, 2024

This is the eighth poem in my recently released book Dirt Girl. You can find the entire collection on Amazon here, or find the audiobook on Chirp here.


the woman at the nursery instructed me to keep my orchid consistently moist

said I can stick my finger in the soil to feel if it’s dried out

said it’s best to be persistent

to put an ice cube in the pot once a week so it melts evenly

I tried to tell my lover I need consistent moisture, too

he should check to see if I’m ready, gently

my petals unbending, opening slowly

we all deserve water, deserve to feel seen

my lover wants me ready immediately

creatively testing my boundaries

my dear, I am an orchid

I need consistent moisture

need to be near the sun but not in it directly

need a warm breeze and a light misting rain

need him to prune away my empty space

or else I’ll rot and suffocate

look at what a mess you’ve made

the woman at the nursery said