I want to make hot chocolate and let the kettle scream and scream until it is depleted as I am, and I will set two mugs on the counter and let the extra rest and set and cool. I will set the table for two, I will pour your wine and I will pour mine and if you do not finish yours, let me sip it off for you. I could use it. I will leave the bedside closest the door all for you, even if you do not come to bed. Even if you do not come to bed.
Thinking about actually being able to study and explore someone excites me so much. The most intimate and tiniest of things just get me so anxious. And I mean actually watching them, taking in every tiny little aspect of their body while it’s living right there with you. To watch the skin stretch along their rib cage whenever they take in a breath. To watch if their lips move even just for a few words while they’re reading, to watch and see if any emotion strikes them from the page. To watch someone’s cheeks fill up furiously with a flushed red, splotching their neck and their chest and their shoulders and every which way it spreads. To watch the skin of their lips tear right when they’re pulled apart from one another, and actually watch the corners of their mouths curve noting when exactly the dimples dig in. To hold their palm and watch their knuckles roll while their fingers fidget against yours. To watch the exact moment someone’s eyes glaze over when tears are swelling up their eyelids. To watch their limbs tremble and their teeth chatter when a chill slides through the room. To watch the muscles in their back contract when they stretch and their body just slightly shake for that brief and calm second they lose control. To watch their habits when they’re laughing so hard it’s difficult to catch their breath, what they do with their hands, their toes, their lips, their eyes, their bodies. To watch the water drip from damp, showered hair wherever it travels off to. To study their expressions shifting from disgust, to irritation, to fluster, to sympathy or to disappointment. To watch them get goosebumps. To press your fingers into their skin and watch it fade to a perfectly imprinted white before the blood rushes back. To watch their stomach jump when they have the hiccups. I don’t know. Such little things could keep me content and locked up in a room gone nearly mad with a list of things I’d like to marvel at. God okay yes. That was just on my mind okay. Alright.
(And then, to think, no matter how many times you commit each of those answers and findings to memory, another body entirely would leave you completely clueless and unsatisfied, hungry once again.)
tonight is just one of those nights i would take a nice bubble bath and then just prance around my own apartment in a towel for the rest of the night with classical music chatting with me and i could just stay up all night baking sweets and sweets and more sweets and dip my finger in all of the batters and watch tangled and peter pan and be wendy for the night because they are my favorites and have just one mikes lemonade because it tastes so nice and let my hair just lay against my shoulder in a wet braid and not mind the drips and not question my happiness and only pay attention to the rumbling in my tummy anticipating whats baking and warm knees and piles of quilts on my couch and cold weather and bare feet on wood floors and nothing else nothing else
I want to be in a bed piled with goosefeather (where you could not find me for days) with four faded brick walls surrounding me and the 55 degree night walking in through the window that I will leave open regardless of what others tell me and I want the chill to wrap around my ankles and kiss my knees and tease my thighs and I don’t want to hear a thing besides cars passing against sloshed and wet city streets and heels arm in arm and spoons clinking against coffee mugs and dogs lose on their fire escapes and I want to be read recipes and murmured stories and whispered those things soft enough to let me sleep and I want nothing other than that single window and that single draft and that single bed and that single voice and I just want to be home. When can I be home.
Every evening, as if you timed it precisely, the bathwater would begin to run and rumble quietly throughout the apartment. It became a sort of comforting buzz, a trill to call the sun to rest. Even with the door closed, the orange haze seemed to leak out from beneath to greet the rest of the apartment. Foot by foot I would hear your skin break surface against the water. I imagined it curving to your waist. Greedily cupping around your thighs. I would sneak myself in through the door, careful not to disrupt the tangerine glow heating through the sheet draped over the lone window. I’d sit at the tub’s side, resting my chin at the fold of my arm, and I’d watch. Suddenly you would take in a breath, and even the simple motion of your lungs disrupted the still lake, rippling off as it carried your voice through. “Tell me about them.” Clockwork. You asked of every body that accompanied my day’s walk. You asked of the people I’d passed, oh the people; where I thought they might be going, how many of them, if not all, had looked troubled. You wanted to know if they had touched home. Your lips would tuck in a wave of sadness if I spoke of anyone that had been alone. At any of those points, you would calmly interrupt, “I can’t imagine why.”, and your eyebrows would give a disgruntled furrow. At any time in which I mentioned your day, you would without pause proceed with a “Their lips?” You had always seemed to think the mere purse of lonesome lips could tell of more exhaustion than any other form of communication. To you, it was a fascinating, but agonizing and speechless tale. Nothing was more tragic to you than untouched lips (every night, your finger tip would trace my own). You consumed the hallows of everyone you’d ever met. You thought that, even with a brief and single returned gaze, you could carry their sorrows. You could cradle their darkest of nights and bring them to rest in the water, in the orange room. No one was ever to know of your own hours’ troubles. No one was to ever know of the woes that soaked alongside your frame.
Every night you looked forward to my sights. To meeting yet another person through mouth. Through lips alone. You reveled the tales of the city’s travelers, of their stories, their wordless beings. And I savored just as much the lingering, warm smell of bathwater on your skin.
I want someone to take me out for coffee. I want the rain outside to cling to my neck and I want to just sit across from one another and let hours drain and drain and drain and while we’re talking I want to just keep repeating your name just before everything I say just to make sure I’ve got it right and just to memorize how it rolls off of my tongue and you can tell me of how you fret when the streets fill with fall or how she let you go and let you suffer and then we can walk arm and arm and for once I’ll let my hair tangle across my eyes and nose and knot with dry air and let it be and for once I’ll acknowledge the gloom as it accompanies us and for once I’ll be okay with this weather and this sadness and this dreary day to weeks to months and we will part ways with a quiet kiss to my cheek and I will be able to silently and contentedly watch you leave and be calmed and comforted by the lonely bed that waits for me a few flights up.
And the sheets might still be warm with your legs, but I’d prefer the cold.
The cedars are burning. The coffee’s on the stove. I’m waiting for you. The trees aren’t speaking. My breath is cold. Wait for me.
The cedars are burning. The coffee’s on the stove. I’m waiting for you.
The trees aren’t speaking. My breath is cold. Wait for me.
You’d always leave the shower water running long before your bare limbs set foot behind the curtain. The steam would roll slowly out from the brief crack just beneath the door, and I’d hear the thunks and thuds of your elbows hitting the tiles due to lack of space. You always complained that we’d needed to get that fixed, you’d groan ends and partials of my name. These apartment’s walls hear just about everything. And then strangely, for what seemed a matter of an hour, all hollow bumps were still, and all I could hear was the gentle and rhythmic lapping of water hitting to the tub’s floor.
You told me that night you had heard something beneath that water. That that’s why you had become so quiet, so still. You told me you stood (and you would demonstrate, the heated water clinging to your skin) with arms clasped over your breasts and palms cupping your neck into a bend to let the droplets ceaselessly rap against your forehead. Your lips would give part and you would click your tongue as if imitating the light rain. I merely stared. “It sounded just like a train.” Your clicks bloomed louder and then just as subtly grew silent once more. You said you had closed your eyes and let it pass, that gooseskin was the result of crisp rain blanketing the field, the train’s engine giving off miles and miles further of fog. “I missed it.” Your words had sapped with sorrow, and your hair had long ago soaked your disgruntled crown against my shirt. “I missed it.” You repeated in a whisper.
I cradled you to sleep that night, reminding myself vividly of every detail you had given of the train. Of the steam rolling throughout the land, and your austere gaze as you stood and watched as the tracks carried onward.
And then all was black, all asleep save the intruder’s droplets clouding the night’s sky. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click.
And we’re waiting for a train.
So now the skin against your shoulder smells of fresh pine, and you get a rise out of the bumps prickling up against your forearm as the winter welcomes itself in through the panes. You greet each draft with a tip of your chin and you breathe right back, “Good evening.” I was consumed with the fantasies I knew wrestled your mind when you spoke against the wind, romanticizing of a barefooted walk through the snow just to come home with a cold, damp touch. A chilled tongue to slip into my mouth each night. You didn’t want to be warmed. You wanted that bitter hand. You longed for the touch of rough flesh on flesh rouge from the winds and rouge from the hours past. You wanted to watch the thick breath converse between our lips and dance among us, to let it seep into the cottage nooks. You wanted to explore. You envied the frigid places you couldn’t reach. And just as soon as the warmth returned, you cried for that winter’s call to pull you back into it’s numbing hands.
You know, as sad as it may sound, I think the likes of some could enjoy their days on their own. Maybe I could with a completely refined mindset. I could treat myself to a coffee every morning around eleven. I could walk just around the bend and lose myself in a few romance novels without the pit of jealousy or envy once tinging through my body. I could come home and cook myself an exquisite dinner. I could wear a deep red polka dotted apron, and have some sort of treat warming in the oven to scent my apartment as I ate bite by bite mindfully, slowly. I could drape an orange sheet over the lone window at the end of the long, narrow room to make even the closets glow a dull citrus-y light. I could find some sort of elegance in plum wine and a dog to tell cruel facts of reality to. And I could curl up each night in some thick, over priced lingerie and goosefeather blankets and fall asleep without a thought of where else I could be, or any other form of life other than impurities and sweet solitude.
Somehow that should be attainable. Somehow I’d like that to be.
Your hair would always tangle in the thistle and you’d set my jaw and gaze barefooted on snaps of twigs stopping only for a second as you skip ahead. You had this doe-like graze about you and somehow the lakeside resembled your canvased eyes and branches would crumble to your arrival, your lithe trotting leaving scuffs of deep blood to mingle with the earth. That’s why you insisted our adventures continued on foot, bare footed naked and you crooned at the thought of the swell of pain simply to dip your toes one by one into the lake water. And then I remember with sore bottoms and ribs clung to our inhaling flesh you would kick your ankle up to rest against your knee and examine your adventurous damage, running your finger along the watered down pink of a scar that ran just to your heel. You had remembered the grounds of each thin slice left behind as if it were a treasured greeting of your own tales of wanderlust, and seemed regretful as soon as your beaten feet touched to any other land. You refused to climb into the passenger seat of the truck, you only just got by resting within the bed as the night overlapped it’s entry hour. You would never speak a word as the gravel spun beneath the wheels, and somehow you never seemed to notice a sound if threatening to disturb where your mind lay resting still for a chance to claim home. Only just when the engine hummed to a silence would your lips part to give wind to the black of night: “Hear that?” You would murmur. And as the woods guided your mouth into a sultry tip, you would say “The deer are traveling.”
Holocene by Bon Iver playing on repeat, and repeat, and repeating once more. I’m writing again. I’m using this worn mind and it’s rusty it’s weathered it’s been tempered with and it’s been used but it’s got plenty of passion left and an eternities worth of patience for someone, anyone else to hear. I can’t say that I’m too pleased, because the only time that little writer crawls out from the depths and unspeakable nooks of my thoughts is when that’s all I’ve got left. The depths and unspeakable nooks. The unmanageable stories. But I am pleased. For there’s another mind inside of mine. A writer’s mind. A romantic’s mind, pure, left fresh and blooming. Untouched.
Far from here I am wool blanket clung around my frame, walking through the woodland. Rundown cabins bragging of apple colored wood, while some sage as the river misting the fogged paths of dirt… with blades and water droplets nipping at my ankles. Smoke curling from the stoned chimneys in the distance mingling, wrapping around one another within the misty blanket of dusk. Inhaling pine. Inhaling musk. The stones beneath my heel cringe, step, mumble to my arrival. Hair clung to my neck, stream water to my skin, brush fire to my breath. Homebound.
I can hear a guitar muffled, but playing, somewhere around my block and oh god if I could explain the rush of those summer vibes I have just been flooded with it would comfort you to no end. Bare feet with slivers of freshly cut grass stuck here and there up to your ankles, your calves. Water droplets doubling and streaming and dripping and gliding down every curve of your body the slope of your nose lying on your eyelashes. Music playing in a fenced in yard with bodies of all sizes ages youths looks running this way and that. A grill giving off that charred smell of cook outs with smoke clouding and rising through the air only for the neighbors or any stander-by to envy. Fingers stained ruby from strawberries, corners of mouths moist with pale pink watermelon. Spitting seeds as far as the eye can see. Shrugging away from the wet dog that’s escaped throughout the yard. Bodies catapulting into pools, huggies squeezed and chugged dry fresh air fresh pollen all of the trees a striking and endless, endless green. Family and friends and hot pavement beneath your skipping feet, slipping in the hallways indoors. An open house. Nothing dying nothing wilting nothing withering as the night goes on. Tiki torches lit with the black blanket of the sky, a nippy breeze added in to the mix, video games and music clashing indoors while parents drink beer out. How fucking incredible. I need to be back home. I need to be back to all of this, a time where all of this was every morning, every evening, every day.