A Lover in Love

1.

Never uttering it, yet babbling nonetheless, attempting to reach language’s end. That I may sit silently in it, feeling my circle fade as I breathe in, understanding little, as little as possible, -scending to my Gogolic reign. I have heard its muffled vowels on my chest, its tongue twirl on my neck. And so it gestures in your presence:

the taking of your hand; my forehead as it fuses with yours with closed eyes, breathing in each other’s; my thumb on your cheek.

But that’s with you. By itself: dancing in the streets, hands star-turned; or, standing still, hand in adieu, allowing the earth to move beneath.

2.

I walk:

start lake-side because crashing, get coffee, turn here because smell of wood burning, run my lusting fingers along tree trunks and fences, bloomed flowers as they color my walk, rest here because daffodils and birds’ sweet sing and how lush the grass and world stops…resume because child’s laugh pierces stillness, turn here because neon lights, stop and get drink because I need to use their
bathroom, drink, drink, catch smile ‘cross bar, drinks, talk music, dance dizzy, hand to cheek because leading, feel world spinning in attempt to catch up for lost time, kiss:

while bar watches, while stars shine for, while blue flowers turn towards, while dancers dance ’round, while horns and strings and syncopates, with cherried lips and perfume and bending bed and wailing pillows, while warm wind caresses and lake-smell mixes: as flowers try to mimic our scent, birds our Davidic song, everything our touch.

3.

It’s the same ache: sister, mother, lover, friend. But it expresses itself differently depending. The fused foreheads are the same, the same
hands-in, the same touched cheek, the same grazed knee. It’s we who draw lines, we confuse scents and eye-catches and fingers-twined. She’s
mastered her language, we need only learn it.

That Which Reminds

I first experienced it in Texas, in that chapel, that letting-go-ness. After, I thought, how wonderful: how the colors color, how the wind dances, how light the dew smells on the grass. I’ve spent my time recreating the after-experience, so now it’s: how the cold, how the music moves, how the laugh. It’s not the actual experience, that not-I-ness, it can’t be; you can’t live a life that way.

You can see my hesitation, then, when she asks me to go camping with her, to see some stars, she says. I want to see them too, but just see them. Stars can make you forget.

We go to a lake nowhere near a city, where there are trees and crickets and nighted cold. We take a canoe and go out to the middle of the lake. We look up at the stars. Nothing but.

I reach out and take her hand in mine. What are you doing, she asks.

I needed to remember.

A Solitary Leaf

See: on some Chicago street there stands a tree with a single, solitary leaf. Does it fear death, I wonder. Or is its defiance birthed from needing to be seen, needing to be heard – how it ruffles in the wind. It knows that it will be forgotten in death, trampled on, washed away by rain. Its only saving grace, I suspect, would be if it were caught mid-air by some lonely girl, who would keep and treasure it always, thinking that the leaf fell solely so that it could be caught by her.

And so the leaf fell, hoping to be caught.

Silence in the End

Thoreau has a good bit of prose:

It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look…To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.

 I’m learning how to paint – obsessively, frothing at the mouth – learning what tints not to use. If I stay true, I will be left with none.

I’ve experienced this once. I’ve also had intimations – in sex, in dance, in good conversation, which are the same in their offerings of reprieve – but I’ve experienced it truly the once. Void of any tints, I.

Or perhaps there was no disillusion at all. Perhaps I simply encircled it all.

I have to remember. No, that’s not it. I have to feel. Only feel. My flitterings with words, my fumblings with notes and refrains – these are my attempts. And I suspect that when I am fully conscious of this, without having to remember, there will be no more words that need be written.

Forgetting Time: Epilogue

Read Forgetting Time: Prologue.

There it is. That is my story.

Do I love you, your eyes ask. You need only to feel my lips again to have your answer.

But my love is lustful and attaches itself to whatever it will. If you should ever leave this bed, my love will not go with you.

And when I leave this bed, and confront a forgotten world, if the scent of a flower should happen to reach me, I will linger for as long as the moment demands. Or if I should pass a beautiful woman on the street, my pace will slow, my attention adjust accordingly. Or if I should ever be with you again, should I ever mistake your hand for my own again, should I ever feel you trembling beneath me again, know that my love is yours once more, and that we will exist in another moment completely our own.

Forgetting Time: Prologue

In the midst of our tender words will I tell you my story – one should only ever tell their life story while lying in the arms of a lover. The sun is beginning to rise. It will try to remind us that there is existence outside of this moment; it will lie to us and tell us that time exists. It doesn’t. The sun’s seeking fingers will take its place among my seeking fingers; the bird’s song will take its place among your sighs. In our created perfume will I tell you that the bird only sings to add a bit of melody to the moment. That’s not true of course, but the truth should never stand in the way of a good string of words. No, the only truth is that we exist. Let those outside others have their truth and their time – we’ve no need of it.

Close your eyes. Let this world fade away and I will create a new one for you.

Read Forgetting Time: Epilogue

The Tree

It was raining on the day I was buried. I felt the droplets as they soaked the cloth I was wrapped in, as they wet my naked body. My loved ones, with hands tender and trembling, buried me just beneath the surface, planting a tree above my resting corpse.

I slowly adjusted to the subtle sensations of the dead. The micro-shifts of the soil, the static of my brothers and sisters as they took their liberties with my flesh, the distant appeals of birds as they searched for their true listener. And the slow, coiling embrace of those seeking fingers.

I rebelled in life, but not in death. As my mother clutched her newborn child, as her embrace grew ever tighter, did I allow that Merge I fought so arrogantly against before.

You birds, your listener has returned to listen to your warblings!
You lovers, find your shelter beneath my fingers-multiplied and search each other!
You sun, warm my upturned face; you wind, dance with me – I sway freely!

Butterflies

I awoke to the sight of butterflies floating in fugal formation above me. Their flutterings the only thing disturbing the stillness of the air.

I closed my eyes and heard their delicate flitterings, their wings wafting in a strange aroma that dashed me back to a time immemorial.

As I allowed myself to be intoxicated by their colloquy of scents and sounds, a faint sigh interrupted. And I felt her gentle fingers reach for my chest. And I sensed her lips seek out mine.