17 verses for 4

1.
drunk on you, your words
push clouds of scent,
frankincense and orange,
penetrating the secret fortresses
I thought no one knew of,
softness sliding across my skin;
my ears burn with your thoughts
2.
As you have become
more present in my life,
you are less in my longing
and more in my being;
the poems of separation and longing
transformed to poems
of skin and smile and touch;
your fingers running along my back
leave trails of invisible words
that only partly fade by morning;
accretions of desire-ink
I am loathe to wash away
3.
I lean into your car window
to kiss you again
this could go on forever
I pull away sooner than I would
so that I can pull away at all
I want a time
when there is no constraint
honey on your lips, all of them
that I lick off luxuriously
your eyes inches away
terrifyingly, completely safe
fierceness melted into surrender
4.
I make the brackets and such of wood
to install the $2 wall-mount lamp
I got at the thrift store
for your side of the bed
when you are here studying;
I text you a picture and you return
a heart-eyed emoji
It’s my eyes that are full of hearts
stars circling overhead
5.
My skin has its own memory
better than whiskey
more real than ice cream
the memory of what your skin
is thinking; I hear a voice
speaking my own thoughts
before I have them.
6.
salmon sky morphs to rose
then violet at the edges of grey
then the almost dark
reminds me of your hair
7.
butterflies migrating
from my stomach to my head
even so, the anticipation
of your lips against me
clears my mind
8.
talking, you hold your hand out
to take mine; such a small thing
and unaccustomed for me
to be obviously desired;
I see something blooming
a secret flower, perhaps,
and want to cup it gently
in my hands, waiting to see
what it becomes
9.
I imagine your face
pillow distance
and in my mind
I grasp your hair;
soon enough,
I will know what sound
that elicits
10.
Your smile opens your face
light in your eyes,
when I see you as we approach
wherever we meet;
electric heat runs up my spine,
sparks in my hair,
flashes of energy passing
heart to heart, unseen,
except in the edges
of your smile.
11.
you lean over to take me in your mouth
28 years of marriage without this
always makes me want to say,
no, you don’t need to,
and then I think, shut up stupid
12.
Sitting on the edge of the bed
your back to me, the robe
slips down your shoulders
white silk for one of you
and red velour for the other
the gesture so similar
revealing to me your back
the top of your ass, the curves
and my leg is already tingling
knowing the weight of yours on mine
13,
After a while, there’s no I
no you, simply edges colliding
your eyes singularities
I am pulled in inexorably
and sometime later
emerge from the other side
a little more whole, a little more healed
your love patching all the cracks
my walls have sustained
14.
I go to meet a new potential partner
coffee, conversation, the dance
of becoming acquainted;
all of you who are mine now
have set the bar high,
it’s perhaps unfair to new people
but it’s me finally, from now on,
putting myself first, without guilt
15.
My ex said I must have been
weaned too early
because I never get tired of nipples
and she got annoyed
lucky for me you never
get tired of my mouth on yours
16.
I lie awake listening to the rhythm
of your sleeping breath
it sinks into my belly
the warmth of your hip against my hand
is the anchor for my calm
Earlier we kissed and I asked you
if you were sleepy and you nodded
my heart sparkled that you feel safe enough
to tell me your real life, your real desire
that you now can, with me, simply sleep
when that is your body’s need.
Your breathing in the night,
in my ear within your arms,
in my hearing sitting at my table:
I am so grateful for each breath you draw in
another moment you are with me
leading on into unimaginably
greater and greater presence,
17.
Your voice on the phone
ripples in my belly
It is a few days until I will hold you
if you think that it’s going to be sedate
you’re so totally fucking wrong

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