Love letter # 446
I try not to look, even though I can; though you make it easy.
Are you unconscious of your beauty or are you aware that the sight of you is unravelling? Is this display of skin and form and flickering gesture an act, a game, or is it simply you? Am I meant to respond, to be nearly out of breath, or is it a trap? Will I be the next sexist – the umpteenth objectifier – or merely an arsonist’s blazing victory? The cinders of a smiling routine. Notch in your belt of suckers.
I ask all this because of the times; because of all the other stuff that gets in the way. And because I’m scared. Terrified this will blow off my hands, reduce me once more to a wreck. Once it was easy to desire – now it is like teetering on an edge. Love and hunger and deep fascination used to come naturally, as from a spring to a river to a welcoming sea. Today they are queered by memory and caution, tangled up in politeness and politics. Now I am paralysed, perhaps crucified – for I have marvelled at your beauty and swooned to the swish of your passing. I have even dreamt. Daringly so.
Yet here now, with these words, my biggest risk. You will read this and, shortly thereafter, I will have my answer. Tomorrow I will see it in your eyes, or worse, in quiet withdrawal. Or you will astound me, and I won’t feel so clamorous and exposed for writing.