Happy Valentine’s Day – A Racing Brain At 4am

wchbwLaying there, one fleshy pale leg resting on top of yours. Layers of blankets hugging us to the bed, I pretzel and twist – one of my arms over my head, one of yours, over yours. I find your fingers with my left hand and you squeeze them, even though you are mostly asleep. I try to touch as much of my skin to yours as I can, curved like a bean next to you. I lay my head in the sweet spot that your body has made for it. Was made for it, long before I met you. When you were born, maybe. I put my right arm across your chest. I know you love this – a woman resting on your chest. “There is something so…satisfying…beautiful, about it,” you once said. Or something like it.  And even years later there is an impression there, and an image in my head. It’s faded like a washed-out photograph. You know the one. And it doesn’t hurt anymore, but it’s there. Maybe it always will be. I decide it doesn’t matter and I start a poem in my head. God, it’s almost 4 a.m. and I am composing words as I feel you breathe. None of the words are good enough. Some of them don’t even make sense. I will never be good enough, my brain says. But you already are, I counter. Your thigh is twice the circumference as his. And it feels good for that not to be something I hate. It’s a non-issue. I take that back. It’s a celebration.

I think of him, a swat on the bottom in the kitchen – I laugh and turn to kiss him. The way he takes handfuls of me like worship. Nothing but praise for my flesh ever passes his lips. It’s the way it always should have been. It’s what I needed when I was a teen. To be given the message that I am good the way I am.  Hell, it’s what I needed as a young woman who’s wounds were rubbed raw by a man. One I don’t talk about or know anymore. Though he ends up in my Timehop sometimes. Like yesterday. What was it? Oh – something about his love of the word “nefarious.” The day before I think it was something about science fiction and the day before that, a discussion on love, seven years ago.

Ghosts. Ghosts of ghosts, because they don’t haunt any longer. They are sluggish, thin versions of themselves.

So I just lay there, warm, feeling you breathe and I let things flood in as I try to find sleep. I don’t even know all of what they mean. I hope they become jumbled and incoherent and lull me to peace.

I am all dry bones and wet lips. Hungry holes. You are warm skin and heartbeat.

Dry bones. Wet lips. Hungry holes.

Dry bones. Wet lips. Hungry holes.

Dry bones. Wet lips. Hungry holes.

It repeats in my brain. Dry bones? What does that even mean? I like the image. Bones, cleaned and dry. Down to the most basic of what I am built on. Dancing, clicking together. Maybe a bit macabre, but not the way it is coming to me, so warm and cozy and like the stem of a flower rather than a dead one. I can see them clanking about. Hear them in my head, making a funny wooden xylophone sort of a noise. Is there a special name for a wooden xylophone? Part of me wants to look it up. I swear I had a conversation about this very thing on Facebook recently with a friend…Rob I think. He’s a musician, that makes sense. I don’t know. It’s too late and I post too much. I’d never find it. I like to get it right, but surely you know what a wooden xylophone means, even if I don’t use the right word for it. If that isn’t the right word for it.

Is there such thing as responsible dairy? Is that chocolate made with child slave labor? You made sure it wasn’t. Because that’s who you are as a person. You’re better than me and I know it. But that doesn’t mean I’m bad. It just means I have something to aspire to.

Why did she lay across your chest like that, then take it back and blame me? I’m pretty sure she blames me. Even though she wrote to me and said she was not, and never would be mad at me. Why would she be mad at me, I wondered? I was never anything but sweet and enthusiastic. But she said a lot of things that turned out not to be true or real. Why am I still talking about this? I don’t want to think about it anymore. I’m not even mad anymore. Just, so confused. Still, so confused. Stop thinking about it. Why am I thinking about it? I’m just…ghostbusting? Do you have to bust ghosts that don’t haunt? I mean, the ghosts aren’t causing trouble anymore – not sliming anybody, or ruining chandeliers, or haunting paintings and stealing babies.  Is it too much to expect I won’t ever think of these things? Yes. It is. So they’ll be here, showing up like thin watercolors, barely coloring parts of my life, but there. Always, I guess.

Scalia is dead. So much division in this nation right now. It’s reached the point of inability to function under stress. Getting older isn’t what I thought it would be. “Nothing ever is,” the waitress says to Frenchie, flicking the light switch with her elbow and missing it by a mile.

I inhale you once more, kiss that spot right at the top of your breast, before your shoulder – there really needs to be a name for that part. If there is one, I don’t know what it is. I throw off the covers and here I am. 4:21 am. Thinking about how much I’ve let go and moved on from the hurt and resentment and being grateful there is nothing left but a ghost impression. Glad I’m here celebrating us. You tell me all the time, how glad you are at the way we stuck to it. I still am amazed at how happy I am. This little nest we’ve feathered. Even errands aren’t a chore when I am with you. Too many red stop-lights? Doesn’t matter, it’s just more time to talk to you. Ok, I’m not so good at the hardware store. I turn into a child. But you don’t even hate it, and how can I not appreciate that gift that you have to love me that way?

Theo “organic fair trade” chocolate – thanks love. Salted. Almonds. It was for today anyway, right? Needs bourbon on the side. And probably some sleep.

Happy Valentine’s Day, lover. We are what we are. All of these things are part of us and live alongside us. How lucky we are.

 

Sensual Sunday – You Are Going Gray

Sensual Sunday is meant to be writing practice.  I’m looking to hone my ability to write about sensual things or even to write sensually about regular things.

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You Are Going Gray

The soft smell of your spice.  Clove and salt tears.

Peachy, with black curls of hair, down, down, down.

Earthy musk, the taste of you…all of you.

Inside of me.  Each space filled.  And a woman has many spaces.

Slip, slide, into place.  Nestle there.  Rested there.  In your hair.

The smell of the top of your head.  Tickle, soft brown and pewter.  Pewter…what a word.  The color describes the soft turning of your fields from ripe wheat to stoney silver.  You’re only more beautiful for it.  But the word itself – pewter – is wrong because I don’t like the feel of it in my mouth.  And everything about you feels so good in my mouth.

In the dark it’s hard to tell what year it is.  Are we new or has it really been so many years?  The smell of the building and your skin and these sheets and my own spent aromas, a perfume I know well.  The sounds of the whirring fans, creaking branches just outside of our bedroom window, and your rhythmic breaths, just shy of a gentle snore, are such a familiar song.  Leaves dance shadows on the wall thrown there by streetlights as they have always done since the first day I slept next to you.  As you sleep, I watch them twist and rest.

Fairies and Goblins

I was looking around the internet for an illustration style to filter a photograph.  I was specifically seeking an Arthur Rackham filter.  Anybody who loves fairy paintings as much as I do has probably heard of Arthur Rackham.  In searching for that, I came across this:

kcinarstyle

Pretty sexy huh?  (Source)

Which is actually an image of a Kinuko Craft painting done in the Arthur Rackham style, from Playboy in the late 1970s.  Yes, Playboy!  Anyway, this illustration was done for something called “Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti, which it turns out, is a poem I’ve never heard of.  Below is an excerpt (it’s really long, y’all) and you can see the whole thing here.

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpeck’d cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;—
All ripe together
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I’ve no reason to share this other than the fact I thought it was pretty neat.  But it also illustrates how the internet can derail your focus!  Even if a clear path is in front of me, I am stopping to look at all of the fruits and flowers along the way.  Also, I once wrote to Kinuko Craft in the 1990s when the internet was a lot newer. I had found a copy of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” that she had illustrated and I was absolutely ENCHANTED by her work.  An eager painter and artist, I wanted to tell her how much her work touched me.  She wrote back.  I wish I still had that computer with that hard drive with that email archive.  That year I had emails from the plus size model Emme, and artists Amy Brown and Jessica Galbreth – both who were newly artists at the time.  Also, that was back when ebay was new and reasonably priced, so it was easy to find good artists there that were selling their own work and weren’t some kind of import, mass-market artwork.

Sensual Sunday – Spring Forward

Sensual Sunday is a weekly sensual micro-story, poem or word association. It’s mostly sexy writing practice. I encourage others to do Sensual Sunday – share your links with me!

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Spring Forward

Springing, showing, sliding, slipping, slowly

Budding, blooming, bouncing, bobbing,

Out, obediently, outrageously, obsessed

Popping, pink, purple, passion, persist

Firming, fragile, fractured, forward, facing

Poking, pouncing, pounding, poking, perspire

Dangling, dancing, dappled, delicious, dizzying

Tempting, touching, tearing, turgid, tenacious, temple

Worship, watching, wishing, wincing, warping

Rocking, rolling, rising, reeling

Swelling, spurting, shooting, streaming

Careening, calling, calming, collapsing

Serenely, softly, sleeping, spent, sated

What I Learned from You

What I Learned From You

that strawberries and basil actually go well together
and i will never eat them

that some flowery scents can smell sweet
and then sour

that some people can seem sweet
and then bitter

and some people will be mad at you for believing their lies

and make you the villain in their story

so they don’t have to own any blame