Our Lady of Perpetual Motion

I bow to you. How your hands take mine and pull me under your heavy embrace. How watery your bosom against my breast, your fingertips against my chest, your smile pressed into the gaze of my distracted eyes.

I bow to you.

For your blood is a bubbling brook of fresh water, your breath like a sea breeze that carries the brine, your heartbeat now the undertow that lulls me to sleep and tears me from bed, scrambling as though I’m drowning, drowning as you take me in and feed me.

I bow to you.

With your body entangled in mine, you are a whirlpool, and I am your spin. You are the current, and I am the sailor stranded in your open waters. You are the waves, and I am the thunder you bring to the shore. I am helpless, I am hopeless, I am hindered, and you carry me in your moist arms, your damp palms against my sagging spine.

Said the Rain

Said the rain outside my window
as it tumbled to the ground
won’t you lend me a hand
can’t you hold me up?
I’m falling like Niagara
past these cusps of clouds
sifting through the sky
like birds or butterflies
If you could take my hand
would you hold it?
where would you lead me?
or would you let go
let the damp spots dry
and lay in the sun
instead of playing
in the rain
like children

SPEAK

Speak
or forever hold your silence
cupped between your hands
as though a mug of coffee
waiting to overflow
Drink
swallow while it’s still hot
let the bitter waters
fill you to the brim
and simmer
in the stinging glory
of choosing inaction
creating motion
out of stillness and restraint
while the last dregs of water
puddle at the bottom
and reflect all the shadows
that stir you in the night
and drown your waking dreams
in regret.

So speak.

Lingering on Twilight

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.

Strange Reflections

Town lore held Madam Hodgkins to be a cougar. She lived in a large manor off the east end, surrounded by a tall fence with rusted fleur de lis atop every stoke that in some lights looked like an array of knives. Hodgkins lived by herself, they said, scrubbing the house once daily, hardly ever eating, or peering out the window at the high school boys who’d walk by. Or else she was writing letters to imaginary friends (her mailbox was always full of outgoing letters, but never incoming ones), tending to her twelve cats (which nobody saw, though she bought copious amounts of kitty litter every weekend), and doing what most single, unemployed ladies in their mid forties did, which for Bryant St. Martin didn’t amount to much.

So one morning when he received a brown-paper package on his front porch, addressed from Madam Hodgkins, he had no idea what to expect.

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