The sun peers through the skylight, sneaks catlike up the comforter. He strokes her cheek, they are drawn together, lips touch, toes twine, hips press, fingers trace, the mattress a world of infinite gravity. Downstairs the cat paces angrily, the coffeemaker thirsts for beans.
First Published in the 2005 Scars Publications Poetry Wall Calendar
A desert again, always a desert and she the saint of uncounted names, her crying eases, no smile appears for this Madonna of the coyotes, her orange-orbed eyes shuttered against the slowly retreating sun. Once her tears watered the desert sands, mixed with the blood of a Christ now long forgotten, trans- substantiated into a spirit we formed in our image, no longer we in his. The Blessed Mother watches, holding hope, holding space, holding a serenity we cannot fathom in our search for divine justification. She remembers, she mourns, for what ought to be, and waits for the windwalkers to pull the blanket of stars over her.
Lie back, I said to her, just stare up that way stare into the sky without any clear focus. Do you see him now, the hunter with his bow outstretched, the belt cinched about his waist locked in his eternal search for the prey that would free him from his nightly quest. And there, I pointed can you see the great bear gamboling with her child or there a goddess reclining on her heavenly throne. Now she said, that’s not it at all, not even close, look over there, don’t you see a small child crying out for her mother, and there, two lovers locked in an eternal embrace, their lips barely touching, hips pressed together reclining as one, and there, clear as day a cat lying curled as though sleeping in the warmth of a hearth.
As a teenager, like so many others of our narrow minded, obsessed gender, I imagined myself a great lothario, girls on the edge of womanhood lining up for my attention.
The absurdity of that dream was lost on me and my peers, testosterone drowning it in a sea of hormones, and we were oblivious to the real obstacle always right in front of us, that we imagined love and sex in the first person only.
Now that youth and even middle age are behind me I still try to recall when I realized that love requires the second person singular, and my pleasure is complete only when my partner’s is as well.
It was a chance meeting they thought although the Fates knew otherwise. Theirs was a subtly planned world, leave no fingerprints, always have an alibi, better still never get caught.
It was a short meeting, a brief conversation and an ill-meant promise to stay in touch, numbers exchanged and as soon forgotten.
He never imagined calling, nor did she, but he did call and they did meet again, and the Fates smiled as the couple celebrated their golden anniversary, both still certain it was all a simple matter of chance.
In this moment we, the two of us, are here in this precise place and there are an infinite number of places we might be. But we want to be here, just here, nowhere else. We are aging, but in this moment we are exactly the right age and to be younger or older would do nothing for us. When I curl against you as the morning light struggles to pierce the pulled blinds and stroke your arm my fingers are in the only place my fingers want to be. Here, now, together.
She says her favorite month is May, when spring’s grip is tightest, but most of all she cherishes the rain. She is intimate with the rain, there is a privacy that only she can concede, if she wants. She can take a drop of rain and it is hers alone, she need only share it with the sky, it is always clean on her tongue. She may borrow rain from the trees, catch it as it slides from leaves, or watch it slowly tumble from the eaves of the house she remembers from childhood. She loves walking barefoot through fresh fallen puddles as it washes bitter memories into the willing earth.