As is now the fashion, I have been keeping up with caring for an ever growing number of houseplants. This is not terribly interesting I understand but what is of considerable note is the fact that I have been able to nurture so many into lush abundant things without killing them, many pots full of beautiful ivy spilling about, tall tumbling ones, wide cascading ones, (kindly do not ask me to name them, I’m no botanist, mind you) all their elegant leaves bending gently toward the sun. Scarcely a sun to speak of these days which is to my delight. Give me darkness and throw in gray rain for good measure. Feed me dark poetry, dark words, dark moods. Turn down all the lights and make red shadows dance like ghosts underneath a winter moon. We do not touch, only the words we exchange between us vibrate with an energy, a current which attracts us to one another like a moth to a flame. You and I are a blinding heat and though I’ve tried to stay away something about you makes my heart come alive. We meet on a beach where it is cold and the midnight sky glitters with countless stars, the rich black velvet pierced over and over one million times. I want to like you but in all of your stories the women are just a pair of legs in black tights, portals through which you pass into a place where they no longer exist for anything but pleasure. I want to know what’s inside that mind of yours but I’m also afraid it’s nothing but the same old thing. A man’s desire for fame and power and accolades. Everybody wants to be a god but all the while they can’t get out of their own way. Something you say, or maybe it’s just the way you say it, makes me sigh and imagine us naked swimming out into the ocean waves like two carefree fools with nothing left to lose. But the world we live in has been ripping itself apart bit by bit for decades now and most of us are barely hanging on to decency by a thread so we snap selfies and drink rose wine and raise houseplants and declare ourselves original works of art in this maddening paper doll parade of one more just like the last. No one is interesting all the time, we are shiny at first and then we fade. But every once in a while you pull me close as we shiver and tremble in the wind, drinking whiskey to warm our frigid bones and kissing like the world will end, and that is the very last thing on our devious minds.