At some point in the night she finds a frown and pulls it over her face. It doesn’t sit right in sleep. Lain like that, with her arms above her head and her breasts exposed in Venus pose, the scowl seems a Janus dream. There are lies the mind won’t tell the body, they simmer in subconscious and tic away. Her expression is a pocket of this fight, gloriously honest and more marvellous for its telling presence than the supine splendour of her body and its beauty rendered limp. How I long to kiss her there, beyond the veil.
‘Tenderly but with a firm sense of ownership,’ she says, when I lay my hands upon her. I play my fingers down her spine and beneath the panty line, there I trade my tenderness, pound for pound per square inch upon her buttocks. ‘My body is yours,’ she says, but it’s my skin on fire, my lips melting upon contact, my senses subsumed, my heart quickening her veins. I place my tongue upon her neck and eat her pulse, soft chewing toffee relished for its texture. You are everything to me, I say, and her body says, I know.
I can’t remember what it feels like to want to love you. The yearning vice that clamps a heart. The penetrating gaze that dissects a mind. The casual touch that quakes a body. The balm that soothes a soul. The libidinous tide of lust. I can remember what it feels like to want to hate you. The smell of burning flesh and ash. The sandpaper rasp of an out screamed oesophagus. The unshakable tremors and knotted muscles. The deep and unabiding rage and confusion. The nightmares and exhaustion. The barren sensation of evaporated tears. The salted wounds. The fears.
I love the creases, those little folds where two bits of skin butt together and force a compromise, the coarse, cold lustre in the raw fact of a body and the ability of our meticulous machines to contain the capacity for flaw. Perfection seems almost imprecise to me now, lazy somehow. Let me see the curves and bumps and blemishes and errors, they are impeccably base, idiosyncratic, artistically erotic, and easily outstrip any attempt at replication or suppression. Undressing the body of ideals reveals a form where nothing gorgeous is the norm and beauty is selfless and sensuously free.
He leaves small pleasures upon my skin in incidental dental indent, artisanal marks in off kilter circles displaying the irregularity of his teeth and our love. I lean into the kinetics of it and trace the path it takes through my system, nervous at first, in turns excited, a small point of pain pierces me deeply, dances upon my spine and dives into my heart. I don’t say anything and watch him listen. ‘I know it,’ he says, and lays his lips as balm upon my every hurt. Intake of ephemera, output of certainty, my body responds to bonding.