Somewhere between Portland and Bangor, deep into night.
She sat in the seat, next to me, her skin seeming to touch me right thru both vials of our clothes, speaking to me of her innocence, while her eyes blinked, seduction ... anger ... loss ... openness ... learner ... teacher ... lover. I reached deep into the image of an older, wiser, yet youthful loner to paint for her the dream of me. I read from a book, expressed a notion of what her thoughts of love might run towards, and slipped her hints of my boyishness mixed with my integrity. Later I thought if I'd been a bit more attuned I would have his eyes on the gate that lead to the back of the garden and not the garden itself. But silly me I was actually listening to her / feeling her lingering deep into something in the distance while dangling too. Sitting there one had the feeling we both had a need to speak slowly, looking as deeply as one could with only a glance, or the breath that seemed to raise the skin on both our unclad arms. In lust you crave to devour, to own that which you desire but the secret she seemed to share was not so much a possession to be had as but a place inside yourself to be discovered.
Each page I turned seemed to lay down the bricks for a building in a place we had lived in together in another world. Would the building stand? I told her of this time I sat on a beach, an hour or two past sunset, the air quickly getting cooler, but the sand still kept a heat after you dipped past its top covers, the world just past twilight is like being a child in old man’s clothes. You’d find yourself uncomfortable, yet you can’t even quite get hold of the sensation yet. You’re still drifting, waiting for the universe to catch up with itself. And before you can lose the innocent smile on your face, it’s night.
Not one good for quoting or even linear timelines I cannot map you the course of events. She told me a few tales, of where she grew up, what things she listened for as she passed time between commitments, and how it made her feel not to have the ground under her feet. But for all I heard my listening kept getting tangled up in the idea of halving the distance between us, taking the 23.7 inches between the clef of her neck and the curve of my chine and making it 11.85 inches, and then doing it again. So I would hear her say that she had once held a falcon on her arm, but before I could comprehend the where and how of the story I was actually watching the molecules of carbon slip out of her mouth in slow motion, dissipating in a pattern of a spiral galaxy. And by the time I came back I was hearing her tell me of her sister’s tendency to change jobs like some change the sheets on a bed, and in that moment I gave up on all the science and with a bit of sadness, realized my lust would never disappear and my love had never been there.
Outside of Billings, midmorning:
Everything you did, placed so discordantly, so at the wrong time,
or the wrong place, seemed if it came to be there solely to make me
completely fall for you. Like a soul with no social stature, -- but
who’s heart is as good as Pip at the forge, -- sits down to
a meal given by those with etiquette, and burps in satisfaction, totally
unconscious of the discourse of his or her actions. You so happily
let even the most obvious foibles leave your lips, making me give
you countenance with a hidden smile. Marks on your neck that I came
to believe must come the night before from “your Man.”
And so fresh at it I had to think about being embarrassed. Instead
I gave credence to the possibility that you might be the one example
of the heart of a child in the body of a woman, and I wished to have
you. I wished as many a man does to take hold the code of the vampire
and suck from you the very marrow of youth, to replenish this burnt
dry soul. I wished it, but did not act on it, for there is good reason
to fear that part of us who reaches for the flame, with no hinderence,
even when the parent warns.