We were on shrooms when I caught your glance and your eyes reminded me that we had met in my dreams decades ago. You tangled your toes in mine and the absurdity of our automatic openness prompted laughs that melted into contented smiles. I wore pond soaked jeans and a belt. You wore a perpetually amazed expression. When you lost my hairpin you promised to let me borrow one of yours later, but I never took you up on the offer.
There were no walls between us because I was and had always been you. We laid face to face on our bellies, the soft water carrying us, and I learned to know your truths with unwavering reciprocity as our raft drifted into space.
This was both a thousand lifetimes ago and now, and it will always be.
hmu on ig.
To whom it may concern,
Hi. You are beautiful today. You don’t just look beautiful. When I close my eyes I can feel an aura about you and it makes me so queasy I almost threw up my stomach tied itself into a knot and drank itself to death, and then woke up in heaven, relieved.
You extend past yourself.
Gasses take on the size and shape of their container, but when you enter a room, not only do you immediately displace all the air so that I can no longer breathe anything but you, but you begin to permeate my brain and the walls, and you set into the carpet.
All this to say that I don’t need to see you to know, truly and unquestionably, that you are beautiful.
I certainly don’t need to smell you either.
What I need is to touch you. I need it like the pleasant grit of printer paper when I drag a dull pencil across from corner to corner tracing a flowing curve. Like the soft but insistent pressure of
the inside of a warm boot, a ripe plum, waves upon the shore. I need to press into you and imprint into the world your exact outline because the alternative is that the world might forget something so perfect and that is unacceptable, to slowly pull the covers around you so that you are finally all mine, and your boobs are too.
What I need is to taste you
like wine; pleasantly but with no idea what I’m doing. Starting from your lips as you stretch your chin up and to the right, to your neck as you arch your back and your breaths get shallow, halfway down your collar to change directions as your breaths become deep again. To kiss a sacred trail to your breasts and suck on your nipples. Your muscles tense and your eyes half close and I need the taste of your stomach and the taste of your navel and below your navel. The anticipation of pleasing you turns me on so much.
Five senses isn’t enough.
What I need is to be one with you. I need the smell of your skin, the feel of it against me, trapping our warmth beneath the blanket. I need the sound of your gasps, your breath on my face, and to fall into your eyes. I need you to hold on to me like the world is spinning – you and the world – and your lips on me. I need it desperately, so save me from this consuming longing, please.
On the Amtrack train from Ann Arbor to Chicago I feel around in my backpack for my notebook because I decided I want to write something poetic. When I find it, I unlatch the tray table and scribble the words “Michigan summer,” two nouns, surface level description, because I’m not naturally that poetic and if I get stuck criticizing myself then I’ll never get anywhere.
There’s a different kind of warmth in Michigan, a tired and welcoming warmth that permeates through my chest. I write the words “accepts welcomes reminds warmth worth” and blink at the green and dark green trees blurring by outside, silhouetted against the yellowish white sky. The sun is exposed even through the opaque purple clouds.
Verbs condense descriptions. I’m not the first person to think of this; my high school English teacher wasn’t either. Verbs give a sense of context, and using the right verb helps frame an observation without wasting words.
My process for discovering poetic verbs:
The melted cheese on my breakfast egg hash reminds me of plastic in its consistency – that’s the comparison. To verb the comparison I note that one specific trait of plastic is the way it bends and warps without breaking – the melted cheese on my breakfast hash bends like a pungent plastic. Remove the extra: “the melted cheese on my breakfast hash bends and warps as I pull it apart with my fork.”
The branches of the trees we pass by look like fingers on a hand. Upturned palms. “The trees upturn their branches.”
The hot air outside is like a persistent noise. “The air conditioning in every building mutes the heat but tastes like mouthwash.”
“The scattered clouds above me look like blended pea soup left around the rim of a bowl.”
Hey, they can’t all be ringers.
I reunite with old friends whom I forgot have had lives without me and hug them a little longer than I used to. We pass by a station and the train whistles again and again. I imagine it gasps like an organ in an old church eeking out a lame pentatonic chord.
We arrive in Chicago an hour behind schedule and I first survey the inside of Chicago’s Amtrack station as we pass stone pillars and traverse multiple floors on thinly weaved escalators. It feels regal compared to the San Francisco Caltrain station. My eyelids are wilting and I squeeze out a last spurt from my water bottle. We take a Lyft to Kevin’s apartment and soon we’re asleep in the living room, the hourly train leaving us undisturbed, in our exhausted states.