We stayed up all night drinking and now you’re sleeping and I’ve got a cigarette smoking between my lips and through the spreading fingers of its blue smoke I see the first rays of sunlight as they trickle inside the seams of the curtain and fall across your body, buffered by the clothes you forgot to remove. I untied your shoes, pulling the laces until the loops unraveled, slipped them off and set them aside. I ran my hand along your leg, felt the muscles twitch, you danced too much tonight, didn’t take time to rest, now you feel it, and my hands rise and fall with your chest like catching the tide one small wave at a time before something stronger sweeps it aside.
I tap the ash away, watch a plume of smoke slither upward through the morning haze, and undress myself until I’m skin deep in silence split every few seconds by the soft hiss and sigh of your breath. I slide into you and over you, feel every part of my body begging for every part of yours, separated by fiber and slumber. Your hair smells like sandalwood and patchouli, the back of your neck tingles my chin as I rest my head on your shoulder, and my hand draped across your body rises and falls until dreams obscure the thin folds of cotton and fur between us.
After we exchanged rings I realized how afraid I was to wear it. What if it slipped off and I didn’t notice and lost it forever? What if someone saw it glinting like platinum in the moonlight and tried to steal it? What if they succeeded? I tugged it unconsciously, spun it constantly, couldn’t stop looking at my hand, just to see it was there, even while I felt it.
On the subway, smiling at each other, we tapped our rings together and he said, “They’re like rings of power,” and I laughed, thinking back to Saturday mornings with my eyes against the TV while my five friends chanted, “As our powers combine,” and the theme song to Captain Planet began playing. “They are,” I agreed, and grinning, he added, “Just so long as they don’t turn us into Nazgûl.” And have I told you before that Tolkien is my literary idol? Have I told you before I dream of writing a world like his? Have I told you before there could have been no better way to end our engagement than those softly spoken words as we hurtled under the earth?
Now I wish they were Rings of Power. I wish I could spin it on my desk, a white light engulfing its silver surface, and be able to talk with my love as if he were in the room with me. I wish I could tap it three times on the door and open it to step inside his room. I wish all I’d need to do is put it on to teleport beside him and take it off to come back home.
But it’s only a ring. A silver band with imperfections just like mine. I can’t appear beside him at will. I can’t whisper here and he’ll hear me there. It’s only a ring.
And I’m no ringwraith, no chosen one. I’m only a man.
Once I liked sleeping in cold beds
slipping between the sheets and shivering
until I formed a pocket of warmth
to sleep in
Now I can’t stand lying in a cold bed
because it means I’m not with you
you burn me to the touch, smoldering
like the embers you ignite in my heart
stirred like the fires of my soul
as they come to light
when our eyes meet
The slip of a quill
in the margins of math class
a continuous arc that maps
your name onto mine
as one–a bijection
without realizing the implication
of the inscription
is unity: a theorem Continue reading →