FOR MORE DESIRE SEARCH THE TAGS. In the meantime, breathe it in, love birds. – Paul
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.
Love letter # 535
This is how I feel in the realm of your beauty: liquid, vulnerable, naked, hungry, alone. For you are beautiful and I am not. Next to you, I am a million miles from your touch. In your wake, I walk the desert of your affection, and with each word the silence thickens. Yet none of this is your fault – merely the accidental making of your gaze as it passes right through me, an arrow arcing elsewhere.
This is what it is to be in exile. To see and hear, to inhale the atoms of your scent, and yet know nothing; except that desire is spawned in pretty flickers and love in chemical rivers. Both given and withheld without recourse to appeal or evidence. With brute appraisal. And of course, I am as guilty as you. For to long for the lovely mirage is to be drenched in thirst.
You see, we do have something in common, after all.
Love letter # 599
It was just one kiss. Polite, not passionate. Yet your lips lingered a little longer – or did they? Now I can’t tell; though I do hope. My pulse is quickened, my judgement blurred. I’d play it cool if I had any left. Instead, what I have is the memory of taste. The echo of sensation. As though a storm had passed, the earth still slick with heavy scented potential. The air abuzz with the promise of flowers. On this I shall sleep, perhaps to wake in a world I have dreamt.
Love letter # 416
Hello there. In case you’re wondering, we already know one another by sight. We go the same beach in the evenings, especially at this time of year. I’m the guy who sits on the sand and gazes out across the bay. Your dog often comes up to say hi. And then you walk by and I notice you too.
Anyway, for the last few nights, after you’ve drifted past, the dog has been lingering, looking somehow expectant. Yesterday evening you called out his name and, before he bolted back to your side, he looked right at me as if to say ‘why don’t you come with me?’ I know it sounds totally crazy but I feel like Sammy wants us to meet.
So yeah, this is either the stupidest approach I’ve ever made – in which case sorry – or…?
PS: How will I get this letter to you without resorting to stalking? I will make a sand sculpture and hang a sign around it saying something like ‘Sammy’s friend was here’. Then, if you notice, if you find the letter, and if the dog approves, maybe I can walk with you both one time.
Love letter # 325
If you touch me I’m sure I will promptly dissolve. If you take me in your arms I may just break. That’s how it feels – almost asphyxiating in your presence, wondering where to look, what to do, how not to melt into a formless mess. You see this kind of thing in films, hear it in songs, but you never expect it to actually happen. At least not on this cynical planet. Not at my age. But then, who would have guessed that I’d meet someone like you.
Love letter # 408
You. Who else? What other reason could there be?
Please don’t pretend you aren’t aware. Don’t add that disingenuous veil of denial to the mix. It’s bad enough as it is – seeing you, having you near me. Those eyes, that smile. You see, I know you don’t mean it. You do it because you can.
I don’t wish to demonise you here, or cast you as the evil, manipulative villain of the piece. I understand how good it is to flirt, to toy with the idea of intimacy, and I know how good it feels to have someone want you. All I ask, now that you know that I know, is that you kindly desist. If you don’t I will almost inevitably fall and our playful, platonic game will turn into an awkward mess of aching, embarrassment and avoidance.
For I am teetering on the brink of loving you – but for me at least, loving is not a trifle. It is, as they say, skin in the game. Yet I have no wish to be flayed. Nor to break.
This may be a difficult thing for you to accept. Perhaps it will seem stupid. Cowardly. Insipid. The thing is, my friend, I will bear these epithets more easily than the alternative. Think of it this way: if I have taken the considerable risk of writing to you like this, imagine how dangerous I believe it is to stay silent and just allow things to unfold. I would rather you dismiss me now, with tiny bruises, than later, with freshly broken bones.
Love letter # 859
It is the promise of your kiss; the dream of waking up next to you. So primal, so powerful. Such humbling animal gravity. There really isn’t much more I can say.
Love letter # 497
So there’s this girl. Lithe, slender. Maybe a little melancholy. She likes to wear charcoal black jeans. She lets her long hair flow whenever she can. And then there are her eyes – illuminated with fires I recognise. I wonder sometimes: is she is looking into me? Showing me a sign. Holding out the possibility.
I see her most days. You know the one. The mint cool blonde. The girl who calls me by name. Shines her rogue of a smile at me – half knowing, half wondering – whenever she catches me looking. Seems to let me revel in her form; her long and languorous lines, the curved terrain of her feline approach, the intense quiet that underscores her movement, the mystery of a gaze that seems to come from an immense distance.
Oh yes, you know her. I would simply like to. No…make that love to.
Love letter # 388
A lively mind, a playful spirit, a sense of irreverence – these are the things that draw me to you. Your way with words, your devilish eye, the way you tease; but also your fire and the way you just don’t give a damn when others cast their petty judgement on you. I love the way you flaunt it. Your hauteur. No false modesty for you. Then, perhaps above all, your compassion, which shines out amongst the syrupy suburban sentimentality that so often parades as kindness. And even your flaws, which render you so human, and the vulnerability you allow me see. No wonder I love you as I do. No wonder I feel so blessed to walk beside you.
Love letter # 1025
I know you have another lover now. I saw you with him last night. And then I saw the look in your eyes.
Love letter # 480
You are beautiful in a way that defies all but the most animal logic. Much as I might try to arm myself against your pulchritude with reason or politically correct sensibility, your light shines right through the million cracks in my ridiculous defence. Even my hard earned trepidations about ‘falling for someone again’ are skirted by the fires of your splendour.
How easily we are knocked off our comfortable perches by the deeper currents of evolution and chemistry. It is humbling. Magnificent in its devastating simplicity. A shape, a scent, a sparkle in the eye. The promise of skin. The glow that follows.
So, in place of poetry, gravity. In lieu of good intention, desire.
This may indeed be a shallow missive, little more than a politely sexual confession, but in your presence and in my most urgent imaginings I am reduced – or is elevated? – to the kind of hunger that will permit neither denial nor obfuscation.
Love letter # 323
Your walk. The hypnotic sway of it. The quiet way you dance, eyes closed, seemingly oblivious to anything but the ecstasy of music. The subtlety of your smile. How you seem to know something the rest of us don’t.
And then there’s the distance. That spectral horizon your eyes always drift out towards. As though you do not really belong here with us. Grubby, stupid humans.
Sometimes, I’ll be honest, I am in silent awe. Your beauty has a quality that obliterates expectation. Destroys complacency. Melts away the trivia of detail. Maybe it is a kind of test. If so, I submit to the rules of the examination. Not merely as a stumbling and hopeful stooge of desire but to hold up the mirror I know you’ve been searching for. To see you. And give you a reason to look.
Love letter # 637
You are so beautiful I can barely look at you. I am literally physically affected. Deep stirring occurs – lust yes, but also more than that, a longing to care and protect. God, even to adore. As though via some extraordinary mechanism of gravity you could usher a river from me. And this is both wonderful and terrifying. For you could break me with a flicker of an eyelid. This is why I hold my breath. Look down at the ground. Because beauty is a star that blinds – burns – and I do not know if I am ready once again to be the man of cinders.
Love letter # 428
Truth be told, you would be better advised not to be so friendly, not to sit so close, not to smile like that. You are playing with fire and whilst you will have your fingertips singed my entire world will burn to the ground. Your beauty, combined with your attentions, your habit of openness and closeness, will make an inferno of my calm. Wreckage of my sensible perspective.
I am on the verge of loving you utterly – wanting you absurdly – and I would much rather not. I have nothing to gain from pointlessly adoring your unattainable body or from ridiculously pursuing your greater affection.
Please, if this is anything more than a game to you, allow me my space. Surely you do not require the validation of my aging hunger – the ego boost of yet another fool tumbling at your feet.
So before I dare to seriously dream of a kiss that we both know will never land – a fantasy that will quickly morph into a nightmare – do not lean so close next time. Do not lay your hand on me. Avert those shining eyes.
Though it may be hard to accept that I will never know the warm velvet of your skin, it would be far harder to believe that one day I might. Show me that your love is impossible. Make it plain that even in a thousand years your lips will not taste mine. Every fibre in my animal body wants to strain for you but my heart knows better. And so do you.
Let’s hit pause now – because after a certain point there is no rewind.
Love letter # 500
I was dizzy in your wake – shaken to the bone by your approach – drunk in the advent of you. Was beauty ever so fragile and intoxicating as it was in your eyes? Was desire ever so wild as it was at the touch your hand?
You turned your gaze towards me and in the fire of your seeing I was reduced – boiled down to the essential. You whispered those words and all the noise stopped. The door you held open was the end of both my certainty and my unknowing.
In the aftermath of your kiss – the vast and sweeping hush of oceans. In the circle of your limbs – the silence of arrival. In the fever of our finding – the melting down of walls.
For there was a rain of longing and upon us it fell heavy, washing away our conceit, cleansing the grit and the muck of our defence. Now, shiny striplings, we run as though barefoot. You like flying – me as the breathless air beside you.
Love letter # 310
The way you looked at me yesterday – eyes like a question – your outbreath slowed, lips slightly parted – I wonder do you share this hunger? Is this our folie à deux?
I know that there are all kinds of theories for this, from gushing adolescent fancy to the Wal-Mart spirituality of bourgeois denial and the dry nihilist mechanisms of evolution … but right now they are all just after thoughts. For now is desire. No, not just wanting, not merely sexual; a longing so dense and physical that it has swept away the niceties of explanation. Even the flowers of song are trampled.
This is gravity and I am falling. Plummeting. It is a pull in my gut. A blaze in my bloodlines. A hook inside me. Resist and I shall be torn. Surrender and I shall be drawn.
I have no idea where this where end. With you, I hope. With you.
Love letter # 433
I was enveloped by you. Saturated as if by monsoon rain. Just to be near you. To watch the rise and fall of your breathing. To see the exquisite detail of your lashes. To feel the warmth of your form and the gravity of your presence. I did not need words for it then – or now really. I write as though to confirm, to make plain. Yes, you have set the fire in me. You have fanned the flame. And now it is pouring from me; this mighty tide of light. This euphoria of wanting nothing else. Just this. Today, tomorrow and every other day I could name.
Love letter # 359
Your beauty surrounds me. The light that shines from you. The intelligence. Your tenderness. The almost blinding loveliness of your laughter. So much so that I can barely speak. And I am compelled to hold my breath, so as not to sigh like honey when you look at me. Then, when I close my eyes, it is you who dances in the velveteen blackness, who fills the realm of imagining with a grace and a splendour that stands every hair on its end. For you are the shiver of my undoing and of my giddy reconstruction. What, I wonder, would happen if you should ever touch me – or if I should ever fall into your arms?
Love letter # 352
If there was a switch that made it easier for me to formulate a rational response to this, I would not be sending you this message. But then there’s your sexy mouth and all the spells that it breathes in my ear – and my hunger for their promise is deeper and stronger than my desire not to crash into the vortex of your embrace. So yes – I will.
Love letter # 463
I can see you’re in denial. Your closed eyes can’t hide the fire. For I have that flame in me. It’s the light by which I see.
Love letter # 362
Baby, you’re a silver dream. Better than a dream machine. You’re the sky in summertime. I love the way your bright light shines. I’m moving to your snaking beat. Sweating in your silken heat.
You get the picture, right? No further revealing required? What’s clear is the way I feel – and what I want to know from you. Do you, do you, do you?
I did not come to beg and plead. Nor to serve a shallow need. I sing to move your heart to pound. To quell the doubts and bring you round. So here I am in naked truth. Should you ever wish for proof.
So yes – no more cards – none left close to this chest anyway. All down on the table now. A seat here waiting.
Love letter # 371
It’s the playful glint in your eye. The smirking raised brow. The smile that seems to know pleasurable secrets. These and other things.
Like the velvet of your skin. Its downy feathers. Those plush and fruitful lips of yours. Even the way you walk. To me these are like treasures. Better still, the ecstasy of falling.
Whenever it’s the two of us – speaking in that magic tongue we invented – lighting fires as and when – I come to in Arcadia. For there is nothing so simple and clean as this – nothing more real than the realm of your kiss.
Love letter # 238
You probably already know but I’ll say it anyway. When we’re together I am alive with both desire and uncertainty. Your closeness, your flirtatious eyes, they ignite me – and even though I know you are taken, I burn just the same.
I would like to reach across the space between us – complete the connection. I want to take you outside and kiss you. Feel your warmth next to mine. Know the taste of you.
Most likely this will never happen – but that won’t stop me dreaming it. Won’t prevent me looking at you and imagining.
So now you can take this secret with you wherever you go – call it to mind when and if you feel the need. I offer you this admiration as a gift. An innocent token of something far more fiery. You may do with it as you wish. As I am doing now in my fantasy of you and I.
Love letter # 390
You should probably not touch me like that – nor stand so close – for you might start a fire that ends up with me in cinders.
It’s not you I’m worried about, it’s me. The way things go when this kind of heat gets into my blood.
Then again, if you have a mind to make a spark, maybe edge a little nearer. Put those gorgeous hands on me. Bring that splendid frame into my orbit.
Yet before you kiss me – or let me kiss you – understand that a kind of wildness is on the cards and that it will most likely be my heart on the line, not just my sex.
Love letter # 236
Now that I have seen your beauty – witnessed the deep and vulnerable things about you – how can I but shiver? How can I not know? You have shown me the spark in you – maybe seen the flame still burning in me – now we are the brightest star in the sky. Together, we have exploded. A universe from nothing. Or at least, that’s how I remember it.
Love letter # 233
In this fevered imagination of mine, I am in your arms. You are lying next to me, lips pressed onto mine, your eyes ablaze with the idea of us. We are beasts and beauties all at once, melted in the furnace of our touch. We sweat to be together. Sigh to be as one. Then sleep like angels sated. And on the morrow we awake – and know it to be true.
Love letter # 331
There are a whole bunch of things that I wish weren’t true – like the fact that I can’t keep my eyes off you. Or my dreams from wandering where they shouldn’t. To the edges of your treasure. To the soft electric shimmer of your sway. The calm yet yearning pools that live within your gaze. For when he’s standing next to you and I have to look away, only hopes remain.
Yet what am I hoping for? The fall? The crossing of lines best left unbroken?
Sometimes what we wish for is the worst possible outcome. But still I dream. Still I shiver in the fog of your loveliness. Crazily, irresponsibly drawn to you. So wanting to touch you. Believing that maybe you do too.
So say it isn’t so.
Because then at least I will have my breath back.
Love letter # 417
My love for you is almost entirely imagined. It exists in the velvety realm between fantasy and despair. Silly ideas and simple facts. It brings them together. Tears them apart.
And who knows what else?
Because you sure haven’t noticed. Maybe I am someone who simply flickers into your attention from time to time. Not worthy of closer observation. Allowed to pass.
But I can see right through the auto-pilot. See who you are. Much softer than you like to pretend. Someone imbued with real warmth – but maybe a little scared. And bruised, of course.
Perhaps one day you will stop – and there will be that moment and we will both know.
Until then I shall render the entire scene in daydream. Over and over until it comes out just right.
Love letter # 252
Quite possibly, you are too beautiful for me. As I stand on the brink of your kiss, I feel like someone about to drown. The sheer power of you is frightening and I wonder if the hunger that will be unleashed in me will ever be sated. Will I forever be left wanting and wondering? Chasing something you cannot give?
So yes, this is why I have dwelt on the edge of your nearness. I am not sure that I will survive my desire with even the merest shred of self respect or perspective. We both know that touch explodes reserve. That once naked, there is no hiding. No retreat into the safety of not knowing.
It is not so much that you will see the scars on me but that the force of my loving you will ruin the very flower it seeks to treasure. I will want you more madly than is tolerable – because in your splendid, sparkling eyes I see all the intoxicating glory of promise. For you are like the birth of stars – the beginning of time and possibility. A spark that might just make a life.
And then what?
Love letter # 313
When from the glittering sea you first emerged, body bedizened in salt and sand, I thought that you were the angel of summer. Of all my summers. And wrapped up in your fine form every dream I ever had. All the promises ever made by every lover who passed me by. For yours was the beauty I would have conjured. Yours the eyes that longed for me. The hand that led me into the softness of the night. I have already kissed you in my imagining – your lips like heaven. And you have sighed the song of my surrender; so that now I will follow you out into the waves and we will have the ocean to ourselves.
Love letter # 226
When you see the vicious volcano in me – all fire and spit and ash – what you are seeing is the conflagration in my soul. The one that still lights up the skies for you. Despite everything. Lies, betrayal, etc.
Perhaps one day you will wear my vitriol as a badge of honour. A flag that flies above your citadel, red like fury and desire.
Take the meanest words I have spoken and turn them on their head. Here then, the force of my loving you. I do not seek forgiveness or indulgence with this; I simply want to say that the volume of my angst is the leftover mountain of my affection. Perhaps you can take heart in this.
Love letter # 243
You move like a river through this desert of mine. You fall like the rain upon my parched and broken ground. You rise like the moon on the blackest night. And everything glows. And deeply, and with low planetary sighs, I turn towards you. My love is like a force of nature; a rock in space around a star. This impulse is beneath and beyond anything I could ever explain. As though I were flung from the lofty heights into the warm encompassing valley of your hands. There to shudder and melt away.
Love letter # 223
Thank God for the advent of the sexy barista. Makes my routine sparkle.
When I know you’re on I cannot wait to get out and come down to your café, to sit in my usual spot and let you pull the shots. Even in your work clothes I can see how your beautiful body moves with grace and precision – and I try to watch you without being seen.
How I love it when you wander over to my table, when you linger just that little bit longer. It’s then that I can detect something deep and wonderful in your eyes. Something more than a practised smile. A strength. A vulnerability. Maybe even a yearning.
Of course I cannot be sure – but I would sure love to find out.
Love letter # 232
Loving you has been really good for my weight – because whenever I see you I am sick with nerves and simply cannot eat. Your impact is so utterly physical; and all of my fine assertions and splendid determinations are simply melted on sight. It’s as though I have no defence whatever. Something about you shoots me right through.
Partly I’d like to run away – to sidestep this debilitating desire – but then when you are in my presence I am drawn to you so powerfully that all I can think of is your beauty and how much I would like to wrap you in my arms.
Tonight I will sleep alone once more but yearn for you to be next to me. In the morning I will crash into wakefulness with your name as my very first thought.
This, I realise, is the most primitive longing – the hard wired, hormonal hunger for touch and that mad delusion we are wont to call love. And much as I want you, I also want to be free of this stomach churning, nerve shredding, sanity destroying want.
Perhaps your kiss would dissolve it all – or maybe your absence. I cannot tell. I have surrendered that capacity to the overwhelming fever that strikes me when you smile.
I am hoping that perhaps you will help me steer a path out of this – put me out of my misery or dive into this heady sea and be with me.
Is this the craziest letter you have ever received? I hope so – because then you will know that whatever else happens in your world there is a fool nearby with a bright light burning just for you.
Love letter # 281
Sometimes – when you are near me – I am in full flood. As though you trigger an avalanche in me. I bite my lip. Keep quiet the chorus and its intemperate declaration. Avert my eyes. Walk away. Just to right my breath. Re-compose.
Do not think that I am avoiding you – because I carry you with me always. A heady flush in the blood. A joy that verges on water. A crush that ruins all my best laid plans.
For when you are as you were today, your beauty and kindness and utter fragility shoots me through with light and I am lifted up – as if by some mighty tide – and carried to a place where your love is my love and there is no further need for these silly boundaries we have drawn.
Love letter # 209
I don’t care about the hundred thousand reasons not to be together. I only care about being with you. I’ve heard all the reasons why it won’t work but I am only interested in the overwhelming sense that it might; and that we should, at the very least, try. True, it will change the friendship we currently have – but then so will doing nothing. Is it not better to fail in love than to rust away in fear? Is not a kiss a far better thing than a cold shoulder? Yes, we can stay where we are – but then, in effect, we will be truly lost. I say – damn the arguments against – take the love while it’s there, while its light shines bright and clean and pure. This is what I want to be mistaken in. Fire, not reasons.
Love letter # 264
The way you looked last night – in the evening light – in that lovely dress – it forced me to confess. I think about you all the time and I wonder if we will ever, ever be.
I am wracked with reservation – for I have heard your stories of bad men and broken hope – but this does not mean I have not dreamed what I have dreamed. That I have not imagined your kiss. Not heard you sigh in my quiet fantasy.
And yet I know the rough and unforgiving terrain of man and woman as well as any. I have seen and felt its jarring bumps – and yes, I am more than a little afraid. But should it be your wish I will risk a further bruise for you, if only to have another chance at joy.
Love letter # 205
Desire, love, connection – call it what you will – it appears to happen by some magical process. The sight of you has sent the signals rocketing through my system; that warm, enveloping tide of hormones and recognition. The physical crush in my chest. The gravitational force that urges me to touch you whenever I can.
In another world this might not be a problem. But alas, this is the world we find ourselves in – the world in which you are already betrothed.
I see your eyes looking out at me. I read what they’re saying. Oh please … please don’t.
We all choose the path we walk upon – and I have chosen this: to adore you quietly and allow you your decision. I will not say that I am a better man, for I may well not be. Indeed, I am just another man who wants you. A man who sees the incarcerated beauty glowing inside you. (Or at least thinks he does.)
I am prepared to accept that this is all a delusion – another grand, romantic folly in a long line of pseudo-poetic mishaps. But maybe one day you will prove me wrong.
Love letter # 134
Ah, summer dresses. Whoever it was designed them must have had my particular surrender in mind, so precisely am I unpicked by the scent of skin and sway. By what is hidden and what is shown – and by the beautiful way you move.
I cannot look at you in that dress and be unmoved. Cannot look you in the eye. Utter a single word. The ache of my wanting is both exquisite and cruel. I am on the rack of its ardour. Sometimes your beauty is more than I can bear.
So I come back to the cool of my room, safe from your splendour, and all of my love becomes a song – and it is as though an angel has followed me home and sat down beside me to type this up. And I can feel the light right through me.
Love letter # 240
I confess – I set out to be cruel to you today. I wanted to punish you for my hurt. But I couldn’t. I saw you and that warm, resilient flower inside me opened up – as though the sun had returned after its winter sleep. I wanted to push you away but something stronger kicked in. An elemental force. A bloom of longing. Something primitive to smash my sophisticated determination. Damn it.
It will be difficult having you around again – feeling what I feel, knowing what I know. Little drops will seem like oceans to me – little sparks a fire – for the heart makes songs out of ordinary sounds – and when it’s you I’m dancing.
Perhaps if you weren’t so beautiful. Perhaps if I did not love you so. Or if you were still in another country. But alas – you are here and I am breathless once more. And, as I promised you I would be, quiet.
Love letter # 263
Done my best not to notice you. Failed. Others don’t see them, but I do. Your gestural details. The way your smile illuminates your eyes. That flick of your hip. The almost imperceptible way you linger. Your mouth soft. Voice a little deeper.
I want to be immune. Impervious. In control. But I’m not. My gaze hovers on you and I pray you can’t tell. I am afraid of the inevitable crush of your knowing. Not ready for no. Scared by the prospect of yes.
What will happen to desire when it requires action? Will my composure stand up to the ache of walking away; let alone the hot blaze of first kiss? Perhaps this quiet is preferable – because it lets me look at you. And you are so beautiful.
Love letter 211
I’m sitting next to you – typing this – and I’m on fire. But nobody would know – not even you. I’d love to get you alone but the crowds make that unlikely. Perhaps later; though probably not. Desire is an easy secret to keep from others but not from yourself. There is never any real hiding from what you want. And I want you.
Love letter # 300
Just say. Don’t test me with signs or whatever you think they are. Say yes or no. Make it plain. I was never a genius before I knew you – why would loving you make me any smarter?
I’m scouring you for clues – waxing between near certainty and crestfallen flatness. You touch me, you ignore me. All that stupid stuff. And I’m the stupider for falling for it.
So that’s why I’m writing – putting my head on the block. Let it be salvation or something else. Just not this unseemly adolescent guessing game. Not this wanting not to want, not this turgid drama of private wondering. If it’s no, I’ll know.
But if it’s yes …
Love letter # 285
I’ve been trying to hide it – but your proximity opens up the cracks in my shield of uncaring. And now, even when you’re not around, I think of you – dream up scenarios.
It’s your long black hair, your gorgeous smile, the way you let your hand rest on my knee. That and my appalling need. My loneliness, my hunger, the scent of your skin.
We are nothing if not animals looking for a mate; perhaps this explains the silent, secret gravity between us. Or maybe you are just the nearest – and I the closest to you.
If there is a truth here, it is that desire will overpower the inches that separate us. It will crush our cool language to sighs. It will turn our wiser heads to kiss. Unless I leave.
Love letter # 178
You and me speak a language no one else does – although I’m sure everyone understands. It is the secret tongue of lovers. We whisper it at night. You breathe it in into me and I sigh in return. And you know exactly what I mean.
Love letter # 173
Ah, the lottery of DNA. Upon some are bestowed all the natural graces, from others they are withheld. Some are effortlessly lovely, others toil at approximation. Of the two of us, we both know who is who. So please – do not walk that way – do not look like that. For yours is the beauty that knocks down the walls; and yours is the light that shines right through me.
Love letter # 219
Whenever I see you I am completely undone. Every defence melted. Struck with the beauty of you. I watch the way you move and I am compelled to sigh. And all my thoughts collapse into your eyes.
Whatever wisdom it is I think I’ve attained – I think of your skin, the weight of your limbs, the way you yield – and pride melts to joy. I imagine the details of your form, the perfume of your nearness, your hand upon me.
My reason departs when you arrive. My act dissolves. Like a force rushing through me. I am aware of the swivel of your hips, the arc of your smile, and I am in the ocean once more. The island that your tides erode.
In the temple of your splendour, the gods become the beggars and the wise become the fools. The things I thought I knew are now the hunger that I feel. I dream of your kiss and there are no more lies. Only the truth of my fire. And you. Unbelievable you.
Love letter # 216
I fought the idea for ages – didn’t want it to occur. Knew it would change everything. I’d almost talked myself out of it. Almost.
It only took the smallest breach – the merest taste. A flood is sometimes held back by thought alone. The difference between then and now is an idea – is the touch you gave.
Your fingers – my undoing.
Love letter # 237
I should leave now. I have started to imagine you using your body in that way – how you would move. Sound. Sigh. This places me in an untenable position. I can barely bring myself to look at you, let alone carry on conversation.
You will know me by the space I leave behind. Perhaps you will be surprised. Disappointed. Sickened even. At any rate, I will not have to bear the awful weight of your scorn or the slow screw turn of your ignorant bliss.
By writing this I will appear on your radar – even as a blip – and you will know that someone noticed. Perhaps you saw right through me all along but I have swooned in the vision of you. Your beauty has inundated me. As I take my leave I carry the leftovers of your loveliness with me.
I leave to avoid the intolerable spectre of your light shining for someone else. I know this is petty; but I would rather be called a fool than die in quiet envy.
Just know that you are beautiful and that the one who used to occupy that now empty seat nearby was the one who thought so. Was the one who knew what that meant.
Love letter # 194
Beneath a solitary yellow globe – on a borrowed bed – we did nothing special – just the instinctive rocking of man and woman. Your weight moving in and out of me. My need consuming you.
Yet even when it was at its hottest you knew not be a machine. You made love like a song. You paid attention. Never forgot you were with someone. Enough of me was aware of it to know that I had never known it before. But it wasn’t their fault. I was the mechanical one. I was one who kept it unfeeling.
You weren’t sexy because of technique – you were sexy because of feeling. Because you surrendered.
In turn, I yielded absolutely. To you. To the way you ate me.
It didn’t just bring sex to life – it brought life to life. Suddenly I had senses. There was beauty and wanting. Exhilaration. Exhaustion. Incredible pleasure. There was this pump in my chest – the very drum of my existence. Pounding and primitive. Undeniable.
Something you did – someone you were – made all this possible. The switch was in me – I know that – but you showed me where it was. You made me want to turn it on. To risk the way light might fall.
I used to live for a kind of truth. I thought it would set me free.
I don’t live for anything now. I just live. I look at men. Suck and fuck them with my eyes. Dream that they were you.
Like I’m dreaming now.
Love letter # 161
I wanted to reach across the void tonight. I wanted to break the trance of wondering. It was in my bones, in my blood, in the tips of my fingers – the sheer power of you. I wanted you like certainty. Like all of history. My longing was like the earth itself – ancient and deep and seeming so much bigger than me. It carried me to the brink. Our hands nearly touching. Breathing in time.
Then – just when …
So I’m saying it like this instead – because I want you so much I can barely talk. Scarcely lift a hand. Maybe I’m scared you’ll say no. Maybe I’m terrified of yes. For it will not be just a kiss. A kiss will spark a fire – and who knows what will burn.
Love letter # 185
I have tried not to see your beauty. Not to have it blazing in my eye. Not to see your lovely mouth – nor to smell your honey skin. Not to think of how your hand would feel – nor fix upon your hips. Not to watch you dance like that. Not to share your drink. Not to have these thoughts I have. Not to cry out loud. But hunger is the stronger now – and you are what I wish.
Love letter # 116
We live in terrified times so I find this hard to say. When I noticed you – wet and salty on the beach – water tracing lines over your incredible form – glistening on the synthetic sheen of your bathers – I was too afraid to look. I felt that if my gaze should linger not only would you know – and judge – but that I would find myself reaching out – hand seeking the sheer electric of you.
There is nothing complex about this – just hunger. A raw recognition. My civilised demeanour – my politics and perspective – they have melted at your feet. The smell of you – your proximity. This is want I want. You may have a chemical power over me, but honeypie, let me tell you … I am more than willing to submit.
Love letter # 143
I wish you didn’t tempt me so – didn’t stand there like that. Or shoot that smile, shine those conspiratorial eyes. Sometimes you lay your hand upon me and all my nerves are music, singing the electric song of you.
Don’t say you don’t mean it. I know you do. You like the smell of burning flesh. I like the feel. We could make this all happen in a blaze of surrender – you could just touch the trigger. From there it’s just momentum.
Some days I wonder what we could fashion from all this desire of ours. Other days I think I’m dreaming it. Even so, I walk beside you and all the atoms between us fizz with pent up charge. My mouth is dry, my breath is short – and I have to summon all my will not to reach across the centimetres and set the whole universe on fire.
Love letter # 129
I am trying very hard not to make it obvious. Failing badly every time you come close. Something in your eyes, in the music of your voice, sets the horses racing. My blood gallops. Heart like a bass drum.
But you’re not like the haughty princesses that know every man is looking, whose painted smiles merely exacerbate their well-researched scorn. Your beauty is of an altogether warmer kind – your lithe, quiet grace unaffected.
You look so gorgeous in that floral summer dress you wear. Your tresses fall so hypnotically – and I am rooted to the floor. I look away, trace you with my other senses and, I confess, imagine how it would be to reach across the eternal uncertainty.
Your skin, your electricity, your lovely hand upon me – maybe even your kiss. I would risk my calm façade, use up my thin reserves of credit just to have the chance to know these things.
Love letter # 73
You know that if you touched me I would most likely dissolve. Careful; some things are easily broken – like my resolve. The line between everything being as it is and the volatile fusion/fission of you and me colliding is no more than a word’s width.
I protected myself with the belief that there was nothing left to want. That was before I saw you – before I knew.
I can almost feel your skin from here – feel the current that flows through your hands. The gravity of you is making me heavy; so yes – I am falling. Burning up in the atmosphere. Parachute discarded.
This is not me being wise – this is me undone. You untied me with your eyes – now look.
Love letter # 231
It’s a beautiful time of year. Almost as beautiful as you.
The scent of promise, the smell of skin, the bittersweet buzz of longing – this is how I feel you in my body; alive and electric, deep and wordless.
These syllables are a proxy – nothing like the way I really feel. That I can’t describe, not even to call it a hunger.
Right now, the light is like honey and the air is like feathers. The evening is made of music and I’m already dancing. It’s almost as lovely as you.
Love letter # 212
You drove a river right through me – pierced me with a parcel of light. Breath suspended – I was quiet inside – like the still of a beautiful evening. And when I inhaled – you flowed – and I was made of you – and you were made of me – and we became we.
Love letter # 112
Something’s been re-arranged – the stars aren’t quite where they used to be. The order of things – subtly shuffled – and my easy control – loosened. It’s like I’m lifted up; a feather on the breath of your favour. A knot has formed inside me – undone by your outstretched hand, tied anew by your retreat. I want to fall to my knees and crawl to the heel of your kiss. I want to shed this skin – let you see it all.
Can’t you tell? You light a blaze in me that threatens everything – and all because I want you.
Love letter # 170
You used to make me dance for you. I was always glad to do so. And you always made me sweat. I was never more alive. Yes, I’d do it all again – if you only said.
Maybe you’ve forgotten how it feels. I haven’t. I sit here next to you and I can still see why. Beneath those layers, before all the stuff we wished had never … your dazzling eyes, my ready fire.
The stars never go out, they simply hide behind clouds; and when the rain clears we can lie on our backs and name them all anew. Just like that.
A storm is just a storm and a roof can be re-built; and though our words can’t be unsaid, tonight can be whatever we say. It could even be a song.
Love letter # 235
What if you find this? Suppose this is really happening – there’s a note left on a napkin. You pick it up. You look around – but I’m gone; but you’d know who I am. This isn’t about me, though – it’s about you. How beautiful you are. The way you shine. I know you smile for everyone but I love how you smile for me. I am most likely a fool – but I’d like to ask you out sometime.
Love letter # 106
Hunger undresses everyone. Desire is a great leveller. Even the Gods have knelt for a kiss. As I do now.
Your eyes, your mouth, the scent of your skin, your hair falling that way, catching the light … Yes, these are the things that undo me. My civilisation, the clever words I protect myself with, my damn restraint – they don’t work when you’re near me. Next to you I am the king of starvation.
So now you know. If I look like I’m burning – well that’s because I am.
I had hoped that my silence would last until you chose me – but here I am laid bare. Too hungry for secrets.
Love letter # 292
… and then it was like voices singing, angels in amazing harmony, something coming from the earth but filling up the sky. Like rain when its falls in whispers; it’s cool, soft breath on my skin, so complete.
I breathe to have you in me. I sigh to understand. I drink to feel you close – that there might never be a wall between us. That we might fly.
You are like my atoms on fire. Bits of me are fizzing – electric – all of it maddening in my blood; a wild, ecstatic tide, a flood so lovely. I swear sometimes – the beauty is almost too much and I am nigh surrendered. Utterly melted. Become a part of you.
… and then I look around and see that I’m still here. One piece. Still breathing. Feeling cleansed. Light. And all because you loved me. That was everything.
Love letter # 140
There didn’t have to be a reason. You never had to say why. Things like this just happen like that.
I’m not asking for answers – or forensics. I want to feel like yesterday. I want to see the light again.
It was when you touched me like that – that was the moment. There it was – the fire in your eyes. And me going up in smoke.
We, who had certainty, now have this. We will wake up tomorrow not knowing where we are – but there will be an anchor … And when we find it?
Maybe there are too many words. They are a poor bandage anyway. I’m still bleeding. What about you?
Love letter # 192
We all bow before the seasons. Every year it’s the same – the particular perfume of beginning, the smell of promise. The scent in the air that night.
And you spilling wine on my shirt. Your hand on my chest as I changed. My eyes hungry. Yours too. Him in the other room.
You might say you regret it but there isn’t anything I wouldn’t burn again. I learnt to notice the flowers that year.
And I smell them now and think of your skin.
Love letter # 210
When I thought I had forgotten you – how I was reminded. With a solitary word you were all over me, rushing through my line of defence, carried by blood. All my composure went. I was unmasked.
And there was a flood so sudden, like heaven dropping pearls. If I had thought to walk away from you, now I simply crawl. I can put an ocean between us; you still bridge it with your breath.
The hard shell I sought to grow – just splinters now. The distance is a lie, the silence simply a lack of sound. You will never be far from me. You are the beginning of a song away, as near as the thought of evening.
Oh honey, now I remember.
Love letter # 159
I once walked in the sun with you; I guess I should be glad. Maybe it’s wrong to want more; but I do. I would share this blue sky with you; if you wanted to.
Love letter # 266
You are like the siren, I am like the shipwreck.
There are nights when I cannot even look at you – your bare shoulders, your eyes a fire – and I have to walk away. Wait outside. And when I hear you talking, when I hear you breathe that way …
The way you move your body. Your subtle way of dancing. Almost everything about you. It’s like music when you’re in the room – a song that drowns out the rest. Including my sense.
I am like the feather; you are like the air flow. And this is why I’m flying – this is why I’m falling now.
I can see you shining. I can hear you singing. I can nearly feel your touch. And were your lips to whisper, I would end up on your rocks.
Love letter # 117
I had forgotten how beautiful you were. Seeing you again, I remembered – and I was speechless. You said my name but I could not say yours. That would have been dangerous. Then you would have known.
At least this way I can say it without saying it. There is no awkward dry mouth here. There is no not being able to breathe. Here it’s okay.
If only I could write this, even send it – and yet somehow still hide. If only you could know without knowing. But the only way for me to be around you is for you not to notice.
And so, I will not stand out in the crowd. I will not perform tricks to get your attention. Neither will I seem cool or mysterious. You will remember my name and I will nod and smile – and I will try not to let it show in my eyes. And you won’t have to be embarrassed … and neither will I.
It’s easier this way. You are far too beautiful for me and I know in my heart that I don’t have the guns to fight for you. And this way, that very heart won’t need to break.
So yes, I’m scared. Afraid of how easy it would be for me to love you. For if you so much as clicked your fingers … I know where I’d be.
Love letter # 32
Looking at you is blasting a hole in my thoughts. Your movement is so evocative. The unmistakable flicker in your eyes, the curl of your smile, your soft bottom lip … Signs?
Or maybe I’m blind. Perhaps I’m imagining all this. It’s probably nothing to you.
Not for me. I am on fire – just like the guy in the song. Burning up. Practically panting. Now I know what they mean by fever. And this is the hot part. Watching you right now. You walking up to me. Such a velvet mover.
There is a magic about you. I can feel it when you’re next to me. The silver down on your forearm, the deep shoosh of your breathing, the obvious electricity – you are humming in my senses. I want you like a stone falls to earth. I want you like the rain.
You know that if you touched me … I would melt away.
Love letter # 65
It’s those hips – that’s why I’m in a swoon. The long line of that graceful neck, those opalescent eyes, that husky laugh … the way you lean forward. Yes, I am looking down your top. Isn’t that what you want?
Some fevers you just want to sweat out – some you just want to sweat. You know which one I’m talking about. Don’t pretend you don’t.
You could always lean forward a little further. We could always kiss. I think I would like the taste of that. Wouldn’t you?
This ain’t rocket science – it’s gravity … and I for one am falling.
Love letter # 67
When you stood next to me last night, I caught fire. The scent of your skin enfolded me. The sound of your out breath was a soft little shove, like a fingertip tracing my jawline. Something in the pool of your gaze unzipped me. And that beat before you left … that moment held. In such wonderful silences everything is known. But now I want to know more.
Love letter # 273
Exactly when I cannot say – but I am absolutely certain that somewhere along the line I was forced to abandon the illusion of control. There is, after all, something greater than me.
Don’t ask me to explain it but something about the way I loved you changed the world … from the inside. One day, I simply I woke up starving. Unhinged by hunger, I tried all the usual remedies; distraction, denial, pseudo-spiritual band aids – but I still wanted you. Some days, I almost forget you – but you were never further than a soft evening away. It was as if you had become everything beautiful; and I could feel you on my skin like warm air. You were the crisp mornings. You were the sweet smelling rain.
I was the blade of grass, covered in your dew.
The common wisdom has it that desire is the source of unhappiness but really it is the door to humility. I wanted you, you said no, and I learnt to give thanks for your beauty alone.
Desire reminds us who we are. Desire is the eclipse of conceit. By loving you the way I do – so constantly, so without bounds – I am humble, I am alive.
But these are just words – they are nothing compared to my love for you.
Love letter # 74
If you are sending me signals, I sure as hell can’t read them. For such erotic illiteracy I can only offer feeble explanation. I have blundered badly before – misread invitations – so much so that I have been frozen. The subtleties are now entirely lost on me.
My basic operating assumption these days is that no woman would ever want me. Indeed, I feel I am invisible to them. So in case you are wondering why I have not responded to you, here is your reason. Plain old fear.
Truth be told, I have wanted to hold you, I have wanted to kiss your wonderful lips. The last time we met I had to sit on my hands, tell my heart to stop jumping. When you smiled at me, when you stood barely inches away, I was shaking; uncertain, caught like a breath in the throat. My asphyxiated desire tore at me, yearning like a diver for sweet air.
Yet even beauty will fall from burnt fingers.
If I have made you feel unwanted – erase that thought. I dream of you with giddy hunger. My body cries your name. You have set my blood on fire.
So tell me, is this another friendship fatally compromised, another wrong end of the stick? Will you greet these words with silent scorn? Will I never know?
Please say no.
Love letter # 94
She’s really lovely. I really like her; and she quite likes me. But you know …
I so nearly kissed her. I would have – except …
Do I have to say? It’s absurd. Or is it?
I mean, look at us – you the sun, me the planet. All that gravity. All that twirling around in space.
So shall I hurt her for you? Because she probably will be hurt. I would be.
She will wonder why. She will wonder what could be better. Just like I do.
So tell me …
Love letter # 39
Of course I wanted to kiss you. I couldn’t stop looking at your beautiful mouth. But y’know … there’s the careful cautious thing – and there’s always fear.
I do think you’re ravishing, though – even if I pretend I don’t. I’m just too scared to say it out loud.
I get how pathetic that sounds. I know it’s a bad ad. But I can’t lie – not to you. I want the kiss you give me – not the one I steal.
Love letter # 35
Is it not true that those who live in the sky long for the ground?
It could just be that I want you because you say no – because you are elsewhere.
But could it not also be your beauty; bursting like bullets through walls? Is that not the real reason?
For your eyes, they break me open – and resolve is house of cards.
I watch the way you walk by and all my fine ideas are so much breathing.
And the hint of your kiss is a killer – and I am flying. Or maybe falling.
This dream could be my signal – my parachute alarm – but I doubt it; because you make the madness right with your fingers.
And your painted mouth is a siren.
Love letter # 208
There is a space beside me. It’s where I want you to be.
Am I being impatient? Would it be better if I kept my wishes secret – or at least wordless? Shall I continue to subsist on half delivered promises?
Forgive me – but I cannot. I will not. I would like to fly, not be suspended.
Will you be with me now? Will you come across that bridge? Shall I have the honour of your hand?
See here – this is the road I walk upon. No – I do not know where it goes; but I want you for my compass.
Can we turn this silver into gold? Shall we risk this lovely spark for a fire? Will you?
Because I would.
Song For The Unknown
I don’t really know who you are – but I can imagine.
I’ve been noticing you, taking note of the little things, piecing you together bit by bit.
I stand near you some days just so I can smell you – just so I can breathe with you.
And when your eyes pick me out in the crush I like to picture what you see. I like to think you think of me.
In my head, I hear you say my name – and it is a kind of music.
I imagine us making love.
One day we will – when I have the courage to burst into your song, to dance the dance I see inside you.
You are no longer a stranger to me, for I have known you with my hunger.
So take off those headphones – let that song be heard – and dance with me.
Right now – in front of everyone.
[This letter is an extract from a dance theatre piece called ‘An Incomplete Map of Desire]
Love letter # 105
Slowly, day by day, the conditions of my surrender became apparent. Whenever you were close by, all the doors flew open. Light coursed in – brilliant, shining river. And your eyes – they set wonderful fires. And your hips – they were a sleeper hit.
I guess that makes it pretty plain … and I’m sure you must know by now. So tell me – am I allowed to shout this out?
Love letter # 23
C’mon you – let’s set fire to everything. Let’s dance where we’re not meant to. Let’s run through traffic. They can swerve around us.
I wanna feel the blood. I wanna feel your skin. I wanna know you every which way.
MOR is over – and this is the beautiful noise we smashed it with – every channel running hot. And here is the temple of our extravagance. Won’t you come inside?
C’mon – I know you wanna. You can fret about tomorrow tomorrow. By then we’ll be a million miles away.
You and me, my wild angel. You and breathless me.
Love letter # 10
Do I need to list the reasons?
- You in that dress
- What it shows – what it doesn’t
- Your incredible skin
- Your riverine grace
- My bloody hunger
- That deep toned “u-huh”
- Your effortless splendour
- My years in the cold
- Our obvious zing
I could go on … but surely you know by now.
There is a key in the hallway – and there is a door with my number upon it. Everything else is yours.
Love letter # 41
Now that I am in your light, now that I have tasted you, I breathe in the age old epiphany of skin. All this talk, all these symbols – they are meagre compared to the soft crush of surrender.
My bottled urgency has gone to water. The sting has been excised. It took the merest touch. I was a kingdom waiting to fall for you. And you were my beautiful ruin.
Ambition, achievement – victory, treasure – even wisdom itself … empty clamour. I would rather kiss your splendid eyelids.
They say that every king is humbled before the queen of love. Thank God for that. Our worthless empires will never match up to this.
Love letter # 17
Because I am no saint I can say this: I want you.
I have thought and felt intolerable things. I have bitten my tongue so hard my mouth has filled with blood. I have struggled with the weight of hunger – tried not to let it show.
By confessing this I am praying that you will kill the fantasy with firm unambiguous language. I see that ring you wear. I see those demure dresses. I know your skin is not for me.
But still I shiver at the thought of it – still I can almost taste it in the air between us. You are like the dream of country, the gorgeously undulating earth. You are the cool scent of waterfall in clammy forest air. You are the softness of yielding.
There have been moments, behind closed eyes … that wonderful mouth, those honey tresses unfurled.
I would not just speak for you – I would sing for you. But alas … the dream crashes to its end upon waking. So shake me, wake me, make me realise.
Maybe then I’ll get over it.
Love letter # 19
It is though, at any moment, my secret will come hurtling out of me. The veneer I wear, the various masks I don to get through the day – they are cracked beyond repairing. When you stand next to me I have to hold my breath, bite my tongue until it bleeds.
And you don’t even realise, unless you too are a secret keeper of mad and improbable flames.
I have added up all the things I stand to lose – they amount to nothing. People speak of things like pride and appearance as if they actually meant something; but they are zero next to you. I could trash this whole stupid house of cards for the memory of an hour in your splendour.
Maybe you’ve heard all this before. Perhaps you have a cellar full of forlorn fools who threw it all down for you – after all, beauty makes arrogance kneel and hunger makes beggars of kings.
But fear not, I have lived long enough in silence to know that some things can barely be whispered. Look through me in the morning and I will know that you do not want to know. And who knows, I might even breathe a little easier afterwards. At least that way I’ll get to keep my imperial lies.
I am used to the grand falsehood; it is my world – although tonight I yearn for another. For this longing is my truth, this desire my open road. Say you will and I will throw away these keys and live under the heavens with you.
Be in no doubt, beautiful girl – I will if you will.
Love letter # 57
When you’re around, there is no one else. I’ll admit to being a little bit blinded by you. This electricity is fuzzing my head. It’s almost like being nowhere. Only thing left is the crush – y’know, that thing.
It’s like a hot wire – and my spine is on fire.
Forgive the corny rhyme, babe … but at least now you know you’re driving me wild. That’s gotta feel good. Sure does from my end.
If you want the sensible explanation – it’s like rediscovering the real beneath all the practised, careful half truths of everyday. Here am I – mature, thoughtful, blah, blah, blah – and all I wanna do is take you by the hand. Maybe kiss that mouth.
So what do you reckon … shall we dance?
Love letter # 9
Someone lit a match, brought a little flame to life. Was it you? Was it me?
Tell me how to interpret this, for I have lost my reason. It vanished in your proximity. Those eyes, that mouth. The curve of you.
God, I can still smell you – I stole these atoms from your breath and scurried off with them. And from your casual touch … well, I cannot say.
I tried to let you know – if you would, I would. Now, an hour afterwards, I have no idea. That disobedient grin – were you … ?
I am literally shaking now – a once proud man made of hunger. I maybe delusional but I want you. If I could kiss that spot between your shoulder blades, if I could curl your fingers.
If only you were near enough to hear the whispers.
When I am done with this damned typing I will seek recourse in drink to drown this demon. It will put me to sleep and I will wake up tomorrow slightly fuzzy – but sane.
Unless of course I dream of you.