DESIRE

Which of us is a stranger to the wildness of desire? We may pretty it up, but that thing we call ‘love’ is so often rooted in more elemental hunger. Our cultures like to deny us our animal truth but, as the ten missives below attest, we know it in our bones.

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.

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 # 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 # 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 # 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 # 376

I want to take you home, so that we can remove our masks.

Here, we are actors. Away from this noise, we will speak truly once more. Now, they endeavour to infect us, by accident or design. Later, we shall cure ourselves of the ubiquitous malady with the honesty of presence and the revelation of silence. For these are just pretty lights, they dazzle – but they are not the light by which we shall be nakedly known.

Take my hand, walk away. Vanish, so as to be found again.

Love letter # 453

I realise that many eyes are watching you, consuming you, and that in scattered dreams you are daily evoked.

I too conjure you in the hush of thought. Sit with you in the vacuum of longing. Imagine words unheard, touch as yet unknown. Are you merely the sylph of configuration? The siren of incompleteness?

I watch, and from fragments, an idyll is made. Yet, in the calm of your absence, I know that the vaporous avatar of my creation is not you, for you likely reside beyond my knowing.

If it is this mystery I desire, this phantom loveliness, I am willing to risk the less rosy details of human contact to feel the hot proximity and know the blood red animal. For now I am done with watching; and I will take blindness that I might truly see.

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 # 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 # 792

You have populated my dreams, day and night. Last night, you placed your hand upon my knee, and I felt your warmth. It woke me. I turned over to the mirage of your presence, and in the drowsy temple of my senses I could hear your breath, circling in the darkened hush.

Walking in the blue afternoon, I watch the wave of your hair, note the sun in your eyes. You fall upon me like brightness, moving through my body like the ruffle of breeze. Still you are a vision. A dreamt of kiss. An embrace imagined. The prayer of tenderness returned.

If I have loved you in the room of disembodied desire, so too I have yearned in the realm of flesh and blood. Perhaps it is only the invented you who walks at my side, yet I have travelled long in the wake of your attention. You have said my name aloud and I have suffered the vertigo of your scent.

Therefore, I conjure you beneath sun and moon, such that I may require no such vision. So that one day soon I may close my eyes and know that you are near; and I might sleep through the night in the valley of your form.

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