There is love in his broad fingers working the shampoo into your alcohol-dipped hair, clung to your temples with tongue clung to the stammers of short sounds excuses hums ceaseless as he’s heard many times before. You promised not to be late. Hip bones crumbling slowly night by night and even though most saw tangling in pitch rainy nights as childish, you let me roam. Stumbling into our apartment and drenching the floor boards with slurred toe prints, puddles left where you had paused me, firmed me, lifted me. And you’d carry me to the tub and sit me down and let my neck roll and my shoulders roll and my teeth clench and my thighs clench as the cold water shocked my skin. And he wouldn’t say a word except for here he’d murmur “You’re home.” and there he’d murmur “You’re home.” and just moments after “You’re home.” He’d wash and the bitter smell of vodka would sting your tongue and mascara your eyes and his thumbs knew the right times to clear and you’d drift and you’d call on and on about how June got lost in the streets was lost to the liquor and how Abby shouldn’t go home well she’d think twice before going home with another’s lips accompanying her own. And he would listen. And he wouldn’t say a word except for here he’d murmur “You’re home.” and there he’d murmur “You’re home.” and just moments after “You’re Home.” For a second you’d lose his touch and your bottom would slip but before you had so much more than a moment to acknowledge the wretch in your heart a towel was draped around your little frame and your weight lifted from the tub and you’d tap the hollow thuds of his steps with you in his arms and eventually you’d run out of words. And he’d heard it all before. With ankles and heels dripping and hair damp to your neck he’d lie you in bed and split open the window for he knew the night was one to blame for speaking to you so foolishly and he’d turn on the fan and soon his weight touched the buzz beneath you and he curled against your body leaving all of the right places open for the early morning to touch. Upper thighs just above the knees, forehead and the flats of your feet every place in which his lips had long before touched, soft spots drunken or not. And everything would grow still, and you’d cry. You would cry for the love in that room for the love left spilled in that glass for the love left scraped against your knees for the love left leaning against the doorway for the love in that moonlit apartment for the love rattling in that tub for the love in that linen for the love in those hollow steps for the love walking within the night for the love at those soft spots for the love of hearing it all before. And he wouldn’t say a word except here he’d murmur “You’re home.” and there he’d murmur “You’re home.” and just moments after “You’re home.” And despite me, you found a way to stay.
I am not sure if any of this is about to make any sense at all. I feel lonely tonight. And not in the sense of the absence of a company that will caress, a company that can reach out to touch you, but my mind is lonely. I find it’s only me keeping myself up at night. I find that when you’re not here for me to lay out, for me to inspect and study, I revert to studying myself. And somehow the swell of your knuckles makes me see the wind in my hips as wonderful, as lovely, as living, as a 19 year old timidity who is six floors up in an espresso scented apartment. I don’t even drink coffee. You see the reality is striking when your broad shoulders aren’t beside me to dangle over, so I hang limp, in half just there with a divide at my ribs and I can feel my bones digging into the wood further and further you see but when you are here it’s flesh. And an empty wine glass on the counter with my ruby lips as witness will not call a clatter to the sink in the morning, but collect dust. Muscle memory is all that seemed necessary when it was just shy an hour of taunting streetlights, familiar pavement, and the pressured blanket of night warming my knees before I could lean to let my mouth rest. Now there is a repetitious still, a calm, open land. I just don’t know what to do with the space. The dirt on your palms from the firewood was enough to know that I’ve loved you. Even if not here and now. I don’t know. I don’t know much at all. Just that I miss you, and I wish you’d come home.
Your cold hands rubbing up my thighs were always enough to dismiss every fragment of a thought rummaging in this tired mind of mine other than you, handsome, and catching my taste against your teeth.
When all that swooned me were the remnants of candle wax, the silk of the smoke curling around my fingertips, my sound struggling against it’s cage. Do you think it was just accident, then, that night with the moon’s breath thick against my neck, your tongue tripped into mine? Don’t you know my lips were long dry? Don’t you know they’ve kept quiet, mingling to one another to swallow back tastes past. Just thinking of the moment makes my mouth water. Pool, drip, sweat. Thirst. Even now, I drag my finger tips across the shallowed dips, what remains of my body and I am clung. Desperately, your murmurs heating my neck, your thought heating my thighs. What once called fragile is lost, as you’ve replaced every taste I can remember. And how could I possibly render anything but - a succulent peach, your taste, humid against my own. And don’t you ever wonder, love, what could possibly be an accident in such place as this? The ground nearly reverberates for us to touch.
I’d wait for you to come home, bottom balanced on the sill, biting the hearts out of the strawberries I’d let dangle from my fingers before dropping them to the earth beneath.
There were things that drew me to you with an insanity that should have been incomprehensible, but I was always too skeptic to list them for you. I always thought that if you were aware of them they might one by one become faint, dying out and leaving me with nothing to linger on while I sat. How your flannels would hang just to your swollen knuckles, flushed and rough, a texture my lips grew a hunger for.
The temperature much too low, and the energy bills much too high. Sometimes I never heard the end of it, but they were always too high. Still, I couldn’t help but to think a smirk would tip at your lips when you’d see me from two stories below, hidden beneath those knits, seeds leading you towards me.
How your lips would tremble as they sloped my abdomen, how my abdomen would tremble as it greeted your lips. And your hands would curl underneath my weight to arch to your arrival, your forefinger digging heavier than the rest. The bruises were marked with quite accuracy. Two ribs down.
Your shirts always curved just below my bottom. Sometimes the chills that caressed up my spine pinned me against the hall, my skin between your teeth, my weight cupped in your palms. The coffee whimpering on the stove. It took a car alarm a block back, an abrupt bark, the stuttering of a street light to introduce me to the street’s breath I once again mistook for your own.
How you rushed to knot yourself into the sheets, into my legs right after you stepped out of the shower, towel knotted to your waist. It took a few minutes to calm the tremors across your body, and I’d watch as little by little the steam dissolved into your back. You wouldn’t settle until we were burrowed into one another, the heat from the shower smothering our bedroom. Apple pie to my chest, the bathwater to your neck.
Some nights, while I waited, I would steady my knees out within the remaining inches and line the blemishes. The touch you’d left behind to rest with me, while I waited. It’s strange the things I could associate to your marks, how I would flinch to the contact of some, and know exactly the shirt I peeled from your flesh just moments before it was left.
How the instant the oven door clasped to hold my nights’ sweet, my feet lost touch with the floor and your mouth was sewn to mine, too much wine and an insatiable thirst to beat the timer. Fumbling feet against wooden floors, lip locked weight, God what the neighbors must have thought of the soundtrack to our apartment.
I’d wait for you to come home, and once you stepped onto 8th I would watch, and count the number of steps you took until you were positioned between my ankles, two stories below. I knew all too well what each range would mean when you bustled through the door, and left my body to anticipate the rest.
Speak my name into my mouth, exhaust and drape me in your shirts so when I sneak up from you within the middle of the night to bake something scrumptious your skin is still against my skin, I want to carry you with me. So that your smell is still across my shoulders, your breath dangling my chest. I can’t think of much better than a midnight chilled bedroom with your touch falling just above my knees. Cold ankles, and your taste sitting on my tongue.
In a few years time I hope to have someone (preferably you) tell me my tongue tastes of vanilla bean. Or that my lips leave a meringue after taste. And that my sheets smell like the chilly, pungent air from outside wafting the cookies in the oven against my legs. God. I just want to sleep on strawberry truffles and to hear someone, the same someone that lays down with me every night, bury their nose into my neck and be able to tell me with one breath in word for luscious word what I had baked that day.
And sometimes, when my body’s lover had long past fallen asleep, I would shrug into my raincoat and find myself a block south at my cafe whisking away the faint strength left in my limbs from the binds. I called it my cafe because I truly believed it owned if nothing but a peel of my heart, at least that, and I to it as I liked to think had engraved myself into it’s espresso nooks, that the exhaustion of exhales that had parted my lips joined heart-fully with the ceramic clinks. I called it my cafe because once my bed no longer held me at home, the drizzling of the pastel machines matched word for word the rain water, and no longer did I long for the smell of his skin but rather that of the cafe’s lingering against me as I sat. A conflict of lovers, oh but what a delicious affair it was. After all, how long could I think it a comfort when knees and shins and thigh and toes become one, that our legs blended together became indistinguishable, isn’t that what everyone sought after? To become one with another is too tragically common. No, what I so desired was to feel your legs slide a chill along mine as of the sheets wrinkling to my stir. The absence but presence of what laid beside me.
And sometimes, a stranger would waltz in to share my novel hour, for any lover of mine knows an hour for sleep is an hour wasted of coffee habits. Most nights I had brought my tastes along with me, all you had ever asked for was my body, so I figured it quite alright to see to the night with the rest. A light bruise on the bridge of a nose suggested, perhaps, a reader, an idealist, a romanticist, for what other ungodly reason would he share my company at such an hour? A grizzly jaw, reaching for the honey, the sugar, the milk all without looking up from the mug, a sultry date for the evening. These were dangerous qualities, see, because I must have tip toed to find them. If one could catch me such as this, I would, as I made my exit, slip into my pocket the light square of cloth their mug had left it’s impression on, a deep ring of coffee stained against it. And I would bring it home, I would bring it back and I would script the date against the corner as not to forget and I would crawl back with you, crawl back into the scatter I had left and slowly, thoughtfully, I would sleep.
The next morning, with fingered blemishes at my hips and the chill still at my ankles, I would fix us coffee and sit against the window sharing small talk with the stripped branches, and I would find myself the tiny, crumpled napkin - coffee bean touching my tongue, still. And as I sat I would smooth the edges. And just as you left my sight, I would rest my mug down along the painted espresso moon, fitting perfectly within it’s limits.
You had only asked for my body, and last night, while my own slept beside yours, you see, I fell in love at a coffee shop.
The first thing I think to ask any potential lover is: “But do you understand the significance of a coffee shop?”
Back on this topic I’m sorry but just how does a writer fall in love with someone that doesn’t share that depth with words and outward emotions spilling and toppling and tripping all over the place. Tripping over ourselves tripping over the love constantly needing to form and wrap our lips around some sort of idea that just might clarify how much it is we feel. As if it were even possible. How do you communicate with them? How do you communicate that love if they cannot talk back? Better yet how can you accept that the insanity to what you feel will never so much as stumble off the tip of your tongue, but you will try and you will keep trying and you will have to swallow it back every single time. It will never reach them. Even tongue to tongue, even lip locked even inseparable, what if it doesn’t reach them? How do I reach you if I cannot communicate in the ways that make sense to me, in the only ways I can think to. When I stir my coffee, when the spoon clinks and clinks and clinks again against the bottom of that mug, can’t you hear it saying I love you? When I walk through the door and my nose is numb to the touch and my lungs are in a flume of blizzard and a held breath and I release it right as our eyes meet in the kitchen. Don’t you feel that? Do you feel that without me saying a word? Almost as if it were a breeze through the room. I study you. I watch you. I am learning you if you could only understand that the taste of someone, their taste can go so much further than the taste itself. How do you render that taste how do you really savor that taste other than immersing yourself in one another constantly the constant passion you form it to ink you plaster it you print it you script it you jostle it into tattered pages and the taste is no longer just a taste. Do you understand that? Does it make sense to you? When I tap my fingers against the table I’m telling you I’ve missed you, I’m happy you’re home and my knuckles will ache like a bad case of cracks that pass around classrooms and subways for your lips. Or the way I tuck my hair, do you notice? Don’t you know it all means something? Don’t you know that I am telling you what I feel with every thing that I do? Don’t you know that telling is so much more than saying? Our bodies can only go so far. I want my tongue to be all that wets your lips after a days work and I want you to know, I want you to know the sound of bare feet skipping across the floorboards when it’s pitch black, when you’ve got no sight at all, when I wont say a word, when I will just stand, that I’ve loved you. Tell me you can hear it. Tell me you understand. Please tell me you understand.
Is it too much to ask for kisses on my ankles before I fall asleep? Is it okay if I rub your back for you and close my eyes and feel comforted and eased because I know how that touch feels, I will even let you fall asleep before I do. I just want a hand on my waist while I bake at 3 in the morning, you know my urges. I want both hands. I want fingers imprinted into my skin with a kiss on the back of my shoulder that says “I’m up, it’s early as hell and some part of you is insane for finding this the time to cook, but god do I love you.” I just want to hear that my butt looks cute in those undies. I want one of your shirts to be tossed over to me when I’m changing and there’s no sliver of light coming through the blinds anymore. I want a kiss on my tummy while I’m up late reading and for you to fall asleep with your head against it because I can always feel my heartbeat just there. I just want you to put up with the orchestras and symphonies that will clearly be blasting loud enough to keep your eyelids from drooping just because I get those moods. Those moods come a lot. I just want you to run my bath water. I want you to crawl in with me. Okay? And I just want my hair to be played with after we shower, even if it’s only for a few minutes. That’s alright. Braid it a few times. Let the water drip between your fingers, just don’t let it travel down my back. You should know I don’t like that. Maybe some days I could come home from work and you could wrap me up nice and snug and even if I beg to let go you refuse because lovins are just more important. Just don’t do that when the cookies are ready. Because I will be upset. I want you to let me see your ankles, and accept that I will comment your knees or your hands more than you will care to understand. I open my eyes when I kiss. I do that a lot. Just be okay with it. Look back sometimes. Just accept that some nights are classy nights and they do require expensive wines and unrealistic shopping binges for more hot chocolate even though it’s already in the cupboard. Realize that I will come home with a new blanket at least once a week. Curl up with me in it. Cozy is never a bad thing. Kiss me when your friends are around alright? Just do that. Because I like that. Please be okay with the fact that I talk a lot. I talk so much. I can talk for days on end. Just listen. Listen to me because sometimes I just get these cravings to ramble for the rest of my life. And you are loved if you get to see it. That means I love you okay. Just never let me fall asleep cold. Never let me fall asleep unhappy, and especially not hungry (though of course I will take care of that).
I just need a healthy rant.
Sigh, okay I feel better.