He strokes and strokes me endlessly, refusing to penetrate, until my mind is blank and racked with desperate need. Still he denies me, keeping me on the brink until I am slain with sweat and tears, until the darkened room, the heat of the air all around me, all inside me, blood, bones, walls, tongue, bed sheets, floorboards, fingernails, turn to molten liquid, I become a prismatic volcanic ocean, my head, my lungs, my entire being swallowed fully beneath the surface of wave after punishing wave of shining explosive ecstasy. Body still quaking, I turn to see my tormentor wears no face, his hands now invisible, I sigh and release him. He vanishes from view just as my skin transforms into finest silk.
I’m sat by a window in the corner of a room with which I am unfamiliar, it is bare and there are no lights, only three candles flickering softly on the floor next to a full length mirror leaning quietly upon a shadowed wall. The window is tall and the sill slathered in white paint, no doubt once pristine, is now flaked and chipping all over itself. The glass which is dirty reveals the fog of my shallow breath. Though I am not physically tied to the chair, I am weighted down by a mysterious sensation of sunken heaviness, rendered immobile. Down below in an old stone courtyard where tall marble statues are contorted into various obscene poses, a collection of dead brown leaves is swirling in a mad cyclone along the pavement like small children chasing each other around a schoolyard at recess. Faster and faster they whirl about, some little ones catching flight and drifting up to my window before soaring and dancing high above the treetops on the wind. I watch as they flutter, adrift against a stoic white afternoon sky.
I am racing to catch a plane which never comes. I forget one bag and then another and then lose my coat and then cannot find my way back to the terminal after a search for my passport proves unsuccessful.
He lights my cigarette in a strip club bar downtown, steps in close and slips a hand into my blouse for a feel. Not here, I plead, biting my lip and looking up into his magnificent sapphire eyes. I’m flushed with embarrassment, feeling the crowd, their bodies and cravings so close I can practically taste them in my mouth. But just like that he removes my top and rubs a whiskey drenched ice cube back and forth upon my lush pink nipples, making them hard and erect for all to see. In my fevered state, my head falls back and I glance up at the ceiling which peels apart like an eyelid, revealing the expansive dome of velvet night sky. “I will imagine you Venus tonight and pray, pray, pray to your star like a Heathen.”
He writes poetry about the moon drifting toward empty space, the words are vacuous but he insists that by repeating them they become something most profound. He talks about everything he encounters as though it were a treasure special to behold and while I find him mildly charming I am also exhausted by his nauseating lack of awareness. All of these people who surround me all the time, pecking my eyes out of my skull with their excitement over things which not only do not matter but which will destroy each and every one of us in the end. I attempt a search for meaning in it all but the only thing that really stirs me at present is watching in aroused fascination as an extremely talented pole dancer slides her ripe young body up and down the metal length of sleek steel while whipping her hair from side to side in front of her smooth gratuitous nudity. It might be vulgar to some but to me it’s honest and honest is powerful all by itself. So many lies, so many lives distorted and discarded. We deny our pleasure and our animalistic nature all the while behind the moral high ground is the money and behind the money is the greed and behind the greed is the systematic degradation of the human spirit. It’s enough to make your head explode but only if you are paying any bit of attention which I’m now firmly on the fence about in any case. Stepping out into the rainy evening, I light up a cigarette and stare off into the distance as the concrete buildings slowly melt into the street like so many tears down mascara stained cheeks and the skies turn from pink to gray to bleak. I wonder how many words I have written, what they all mean and if anybody’s counting. Does the devil keep score and if so, what for? We’d like to think we’re made in the image of something more beautiful than we are. We’d like to think that someplace in our frightened battered hearts beats the whisper of the gentle breath of god. But salvation is only for some, and not others. Some are worthy and others are trash. We cry for love but just when we get close, we nail it to a tree and divide up its garments while we drink bitter wine and laugh. There are those who tell you what you want to hear because that’s how they get what they think they deserve. Their affection is a shimmering cloak of round cut diamonds, but it’s not so pretty underneath.
Not in any mood for talking or company, I slip my key in the front door and effectively fall into the arms of the words which have been eating at me all day. In two shakes, my grandmother used to say this, two shakes, sometimes adding of a lamb’s tail, which I can still picture her saying with a smile, I’m in sweatpants, hair tied up in a messy bun, uncorking a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand because when given the choice, always New Zealand. The wine is glorious as it blooms and blossoms throughout my body, soothing my jacked nerves, calming my racing mind. It’s not that I can’t think straight at the office (ok, to be fair, that is sometimes debatable) but there is a constant current running underneath my veins, pulling in the opposite direction of this world, tugging me back into myself and into myself is made of words. I read other writers who are so beautiful at what they do it makes my stomach sick, and then I read them again, raking the fingers of my mind through their words as if mining for gold. We want each other but mostly we want each other’s secrets. We want to unlock the codes of the universe so that we won’t feel so useless, so insignificant. We want to be close enough to peer into the abyss of another soul to be sure they are as messed up as we are. Beauty is for lovers and seduction is for strangers and the way we present ourselves is always slightly askew. There are times when I think I know myself so clearly, but then times when I think I don’t know myself at all. There is a deep fear I carry in the center of my chest, a black feathered crippling thing which quivers and shakes. Mostly I try to hide it but when we fuck it’s the reason being restrained feels like heaven and hell all tied into one. The sight of you is like seeing a ghost. Looking at your face, I remember things about myself that I can never change, can never repent for because the hour is too late. Something in the brute strength of your jaw reminds me of all of my sins and bad decisions. Are there people out there who have done it all right and do they feel good about it or do they stare at the ceiling wide awake in the cold hours of the morning, desperate to break free of an existence scripted only by the others? When you lie there alone in your bed and the static darkness sinks its whispered breath inside of you, do you touch yourself while thinking of me? In my mind I lay you down and feed you my poetry as you lick your tongue along the smooth tenderness of my thigh. Tell me how it makes you feel. Tell me, how does it taste with my words in your mouth?
Perhaps it is dangerous, to write with passion, desire, uninhibited. Perhaps the danger is in the telling of one’s inner stories to an outside world which only lies in wait, savage and unkind. Or is that me. The savage at her own throat. When did my passion become the gun in my mouth. When did the words sink their hooks into my blood and why do I seethe for them. I see the others and they appear so content. Each shoulder, each hip, a sun so bright I dim at the corners of darkness left crumbled and unspoken. I see the vacant smiles and the fake fringe lashes and the false dramatic starts, cool salted kisses blown into the ocean wind as another sorry heart fades into the sweet desperate tears of afternoon blue. What you adore, what you tuck under your skin is what will gut you, but this they never quite say. Do they. How fine, how melancholy your blue firm body. How seductive your blue stained mouth. Your veins a map of pain you inflict upon yourself for kicks. Tell me what to write about, tell me just exactly what to say before your sharp gaze cuts the tongue from my voice, a slice of holy hollow shell. She was an animal creature, she wore the tail and the furry ears and purred in my lap. I was every animal in the animal kingdom and every ancient sun which raged crimson, set behind an earth deserted. We suck the breast of our own destruction, feed on the milky flesh of entire continents obliterated. Give us this day the terrors we dread. Give to me the words which devour, lay me at the feet of the prophets of poetry, before there is nothing left here to cherish. Nothing in this madness can warm you for good. What does you good will do you in. And they told me not to let this happen. And they showed me the line not meant for crossing. I took it up between my lips to taste the crooked finger of temptation. Trembling. How fearful. How ecstatic. How dangerous this shadowed fire, burning on thin ice.
The morning sky is surreal, virgin blue linen draped in dark lavender clouds of a strange heavy elegance underneath a full white moon, hovering just out over the horizon of gray stick figure trees. It is too warm for winter, the squirrels and birds chirping and running all about as if nature is unsure of herself but plays among the earthy sights and smells of the pale pink dawn in any case. There is a softness inside of me I’ve long been afraid to touch. Life has been brutal and beautiful and I’ve seen so much I wish I could forget but that is the stuff of nonsense, you have to take what comes and swallow some things down hard. I don’t say that to elicit pity but I do say it because it is true that I do not often offer myself much compassion or room to grow, I am tender with affection for dangerous things. I am blind, I am naive with no excuse to be. I tend to think or feel that I should always be a good deal further ahead than I am even though ‘ahead’ is an immeasurable illusion. And I know it. All the broken hearts, broken by me, with my own complicit, reckless hands. As I pleasure you I crawl inside and tear your heart out in tiny small bites so even the pain feels like little pangs of ecstasy. I make you tremble, I make you crawl, I make you say my name. I don’t want skin, baby, I want blood. Poets are the death of me, their succulent words in my throat like poison nectar, I lap it up sweet, lethal. My own poetry has splayed me and buried me countless times. I possess an insatiable desire to speak of beauty, to worship at her altar, though she cuts me deep. Though she breaks me I only return for more. I am sacrament and sacrifice. I wish I could tell you a story about me that were true but the truth gets in the way of what I want to say. I don’t fit into the designs of this world. I don’t see things the way the others do and I cannot believe in the things they believe. Mostly I keep that to myself. Mostly I smile and you would never know. All the bitter cold, I see it. I taste it, drink of it, I let it seep into my aching bones and pretend I am made of ice. It’s like how they say that nothing is urgent if everything is. Nothing can hurt me, maybe, if everything does.
Snow is coming I can feel it in my bones. I can hear it in the silence which deafens my mind to the madness of the cars rushing over the highway below. There is nature and there is nurture and there is everything in between which no one seems troubled by but I can’t stop obsessing over because what are we but secret love letters written in hot blood waiting to be torn apart, piece by piece sewn back together. Tear stained. Ruined. Burned. There’s the chewing of my nails when I’m nervous and my sucking on your rough thick fingers when I’m fidgeting beneath you and you want me to keep still. The world is a death star spiraling out into an ever expanding abyss but the way you soothe my nerves with a single touch is a drug like none other so I try very earnestly not to fuck things up as I am often want to do when my affection turns rabid or morbid or stormy or any of the above, possibly all at once. I think of all the women I am on any given day at any given time, all the pretty angels in me, all the hellish demons. I line my eyes in charcoal while somewhere out there across the buzzing neon chaos of the city a busty girl gives her man a topless lap dance before scrolling through his cell phone for the thousandth time. So little connection, so much anxiety. What do other people think about when the sky turns that heavenly shade of somber gray and ripples with the dark threat of a violent driving rain. The taste of the ache in your eyes when I say something I don’t mean, when you try to call me home but I’m so far gone the only thing that keeps me from the danger of myself are the words which choke me until I can be alone to tear them from my throbbing skull. All you ever wanted was to wreck me and save me and fill me good and proper. And yet it’s all I can do to keep my head from spinning long enough to get at the sick sweet fever that is poetry. To satisfy the words so I can finally spit them out of me. The snow is coming, I can feel it in my gums. I take a drink and say a prayer for it to bury me like the distant rolling graveyard hills. Cover my body in pristine white and finally wash my dirty heart clean.
If you want to write you have to cut them off. You have to crack a window in a room where no one else will find you and you have to learn how to expose your soul while at the same time disappear completely. You have to understand how to make love entirely inside your mind, feel her softness as it parts for you, blinds you, envelopes you. How will you approach? How will you ask the ask and see the thing through? As the cool air sifts in over the windowpane, it causes your skin to tingle, bare only at the wrists, ankles, and face. This is how we let the world in, in small waves swallowed slow. I have seen a lot this year, yearned perhaps for too much but I think that’s just the way I’m put together and I’ve long since stopped apologizing. On this final day of a made up expression of time, I don’t feel much like reflecting. I do that every day of my life, it is exhausting. The trees are still black as fresh tar in their stoic silence, the sky is still a dirty kind of white. What do we set about trying to discover when we writers try to write? Is it all just an attempt or do we ever get to it? To where we think we need to go with words, with our incessant thinking. Observing. Mutilating. You create such elegant imagery when you tell me about a thing, the colors of the words you choose, the soft curves and jagged edges of the stories you tell with such incredible ease, grace, fire. As I listen to you, watching your mouth, your fine hands, my eyes are drowsy from champagne and firelight. Somewhere inside of you the universe is spinning about its endless sticky web, I can feel it in you, moving. Please, oh please, entrap me, bind me up and keep me. I’d like to be yours for a while. I’d like to be a succulent dreamy thing like you. Glistening. Aching. Prismatic. I’m reading Bukowski because I have all of his works and am taken by many of them, some will spit on this. But there was in him a way of nailing loneliness to a barren wall like a naked crucifix that strikes me as beautifully perverse. I hate the way it feels. I want it all over and inside of me. I want the way it hurts as the currents tear through me. I read it on repeat at the end of a year that is any year that is a string of heartbeats falling soundless upon sweet grass.
the beads will swing
the clouds will cloud
and the killer will behead the child
like taking a bite out of an ice cream
more haters than lovers.
people are not good to each other.
perhaps if they were
our deaths would not be so sad.
meanwhile I look at young girls
flowers of chance.
there must be a way.
surely there must be a way that we
have not yet
She believes in angels but only when she is so afraid of the shadows stalking her in the dead of night that she cannot find peace enough to even close her eyes, let alone sleep. Mostly her days are thin fog, rum raisin lipstick, the smell of warm rain in the air at the back of her throat. He doesn’t believe in anything though he thinks he believes in her. Her pale skin like silk as he tongues and tastes her yielding body until she is supple in his merciless hands. He makes her move, he makes her weak, he makes her come repeatedly for him to observe. And though her flesh reacts as she knows it should, her soul swims so low beneath the surface it has remained untouched for nearly her entire life. There were moments, to be sure, many in her younger days, of glimmering light, moments when the soft ache of a fading purple evening cut the glass in her chest, her naked love cracked, trembling, still beating. She will offer you her honeyed sweetness even as she hides away her finest fruit. She doesn’t know any better because some creatures are born unprotected, they arrive to earth different from the rest, unprepared, strange, withholding, and spend their lives searching for something they cannot name. The words they use are searchlights, the wet language of poetry. She keeps her gaze to the sky more often than most and as the autumn winds burn frost into winter, her crystal blue eyes turn gray and wide, as though she can see the many things that you cannot. She takes it all in and swallows it whole. Hurt and pain, lust and life, passion and death. Her heart is a graveyard hill covered in fresh white snow, a song of mourning in a land far off. Cloak and dagger. Hands clasped and cold in the valley in between her tender breasts. I think of her as I walk alone under a winter washed sky, my eyes to the heavens as the slim black geese soar high overhead, the hollow of their shrill cries coming close, closer, and then moving off. Lighting a cigarette, I tighten my coat against the freezing wind. There is a warmth in me that I keep to myself. There is a woman inside of me, I can hear the way she moves toward me, graceful footsteps falling into thin air. She speaks to me in dreams which call me home. Into her lips, into her ribs, into the heat of her disarming caress. As a mist moves in, I turn away from a world so cruel. I pray to nothing, breathe for no one. As the hour grows tall against the darkening hills. As the woman inside me waits, eyes upturned.
As a hard rain slashes down the windows forcing cold air through the glass, I’m reading your poetry in the dark as I sip red wine. Feeling the heady essence of both slide deep into my veins, I’m thinking about the way some people never really see the world which flutters at their fingertips at all. They have white eyes like marble, unmoved, stiffened shoulders. Bodies like corpses, shells. They cannot smell the sweet menace of a coming storm, the way that I can. And then there is you, rich, elegant, wild, impossible you. You see everything, touch each detail with marked attention, turning it over and over in your capable hands. It is evident in the words you select, and the words you do not. You are a master of choice, of precision, of pace. My bones react to your imagery, sensations flicker underneath my skin as you collect me easily, eagerly, breathlessly. Poet, sorcerer, hunter. I have spent many days alone studying, writing of the desires of the flesh, what the body craves. How many ways to describe the soft curve of a lush pink mouth as it parts itself to wet, suck, and give pleasure. But what truly fascinates me are the private needs which simmer inside the mind. What you tell me by not telling me. How you touch me by withholding touch. The human heart a glistening cluster of dark secrets you fold yourself inside. I’m not sure the world can ever hold us, you and I. We will never be satisfied, we struggle and we attempt and as the blind ones rejoice for the rotted nothing they administer, we crouch into our own shadows, make love to the sinister. Kiss our own knees. Lick our own wounds waiting for a dawn we know in this life we will never see. But when I sit alone in the stillness, late at night with candles dancing and curtains drawn, I bow my head to drink of you. I catch a glimpse of that burning rose gold sky.
People are complicated and they are everywhere and these two simple facts alone are enough to make all the tender frightened bits inside of me claw for solitude. I don’t know who I am more afraid of the crowds or myself when I’m being swallowed by them but either way the sheer overwhelming magnitude of people reflecting on their year as the next decade approaches has my skin crawling with angst. Up above my little useless worrying, the winter sky spreads itself in gray washed white, draped like a dusty old curtain behind the pointy beckoning reaches of empty trees. The soul which is stirring, breathing, in my lungs is attentive to the strangeness of the moisture in the cold spring-like air. The scent of decay somehow intermixed with the dew melting like icicles nestled in brown grass. People are alone. They are alone inside their bodies and even when you are with them this is so. Even if you think you know what they are like or what they are thinking you are only ever one percent right at best. They are a million times more complicated on the inside than they are allowed to be on the outside. I do not know if this is useful but it is a thing I learned this year. I also don’t think I want to focus so much on being useful anymore. Useful has broken me so hard so many times. Useful has severed me from myself and made me into nothing. Isn’t that just a way to make a human a commodity? When you behold a beautiful flower and marvel at the red velvet of its soft petals bursting forth like cherry, the very last thing you would ever say is, Oh my, how useful. No, no. As the wheel turns, as time inevitably passes and skims its faint fingers along your tingling spine, I want you to hold me and think of me like a beautiful, intricate flower, unfolding just for you to lose yourself in, to drink from, or the rain coming down in the heat of summer, soaking you like the dark wet soil, to your mysterious intimate core.