A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick




In one moment more than half a century of cumulative living condenses into a heartbeat. There is no separation despite the space. Two humans, yards of skin, miles of intestine, feet of clay, a neural net as wide as two lives cast upon the spirit of the times. No need to even touch, though touching it is. Parity and intensity, serendipity and certainty, fear and elation, cellular rejuvenation, something shed and something borne, two things, now one, then something more. A vast divining sigh that constellates the sky, a moment spanning the entire breadth of time. You then I.


Sometimes her hands are mine, inhabiting my tendons to move my flesh with tenderness. I marvel as they manipulate my skin, gliding with such unbeknownst elegance. I never yet possessed such delicacy, such intimate efficacy. Her voice in my mind, such divine intervention, rendered in exquisitely fine detail, beckons and cajoles, rolls and ravishes my whole body. This bloody sack of hopes has sat, doped and somnolent, so long that corpuscles had withered to deprive my spirit of its life. Now, sometimes, her hands are mine, they sense things I could never find, and touch with blind, unexpurgated fervour.


I took up my chisel and spent decades learning to sculpt. I watched masters and amateurs, stopped and started, erred and marvelled, sometimes channeling the divine and sometimes chipping it astray. Often, I would simply look at the flecks of my efforts strewn to the ground. Often, I would cry for these scrapped carvings, wondering if my work would ever be done, my mind’s eye always in defiance. One day I showed you my labours, not exactly satisfied but contented by my efforts. ‘I love what you are making,’ you said, ‘but I really love what it’s made from.’


Love is rubbing your lover’s feet after the shitty day you’ve had. Love is saying fuck off and meaning it, knowing it means nothing. Love is pimples and concealer, ravishing boredom and humdrum thrills. Love is accepting the smells, ignoring the implications. Passive, aggressive, slovenly, exacting, love is human and fallible, gross and divine. A trust fall in a bottomless pit, love is the knowledge you may never be caught before the bottom is hit. Love is invisible, immutable, transient and staid. Love is acceptance and longing and that being said, let me just say, I love you, instead.


Carnival lights break the night open like geologists smashing geodes while fireworks scream against the skyline, exploding with purpose. I can feel the neon and sulphur settling on my skin, battling particles of deep-fry, grease, and humanity. Dana looks into my eyes and runs her hand down my flank, smiling from that hidden place she keeps. A streetlight corona blooms behind her back, shading her in an ikon’s light. Divine, a thin thread of fairy floss still clings to her lip, an innocent corner vestige of gossamer pink filament. I put my tongue there and feel its dissolution.

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