This life is not the only life

venice-730467_960_720

o
The air was July, thick with campfire smoke and dandelion. He came to my apartment. It was mid-afternoon.

His soft, long brown hair…these are now stormy waves upon my neck, face, chest. A pillow holds my thrashing head.

His lips find every…single…place. Gently yet commandingly he lowers his body, full, against mine. His form is heavy and solid. Masculine. His lips. Oh his sweet lips. Slowly, he raises his head. His face is parallel to mine, hovering.

The bedroom blinds are drawn. There’s just enough light to see the expression in his wide eyes.

I know it’s time to say something…something…because I feel a restless bubbling…a heart that is growing hotter, somehow, a flame that is rising to some strange end. Without knowing what the words mean and in one breathless exhale I say I’ve known you before! My voice sounds strange—deep and husky; it doesn’t sound like mine. His eyes melt a bit. His smile is tender. He pulls his torso upward, hips now straddling my hips. He inhales deeply and speaks. At least, this time, you don’t have to watch me die.

Everything goes black.

I have no choice at this moment but to allow his words. There is a stabbing sensation in my chest. I bring hands to my heart, twisting my torso to the side in a silent request for him to move. He does, and I curl like a fetus. There is nothing now but a black, swirling, empty hole—empty yet not empty, windy but not windy.

I am nothing.

I am a tree, blown over by the storm.

I begin to howl violently. I shake and cry, a heaping mess. A small insane child. He rests on his side, front facing my front, embracing. Thankfully, he has a thousand arms.

We hide in bed for hours. Tears, mouths, kisses. We whisper of the past, remembering details from that particular death, and others. I start to write poetry without paper. We unravel the knots by speaking them. Horseback, swords, rain. I begin to understand.

Our First Hug

people-2575914_960_720

 

He is my friend’s lover.

p
Over coffee dates and over phone calls, she praises him as if he were a god. With a squeal and a radiant, teenage grin, she says to me, over and over again: He is the most fascinating, sexy, amazing man I’ve ever known!
p

My dear friend is happy. And I am happy that she is happy.

p

She says, I hope you’ll love him, too. 
o


p

She tells me he is a quiet man. A man who selects friends and lovers carefully, with no great rush.
p

And she always talks about his hugs. His amazing, mind-blowing hugs. She playfully warns me that, were I ever to have the pleasure of his embrace, all time would stop. I would pull back from his arms only to discover that five hours had passed and I had missed my bus. 
p

p
The season is spring.

p
He is wearing a dusty jean jacket from some long-ago decade. Simple wire, round glasses adorn his bearded face. To me, in this moment, he looks exactly like John Lennon. This is comforting.
p

It is early in the evening, around seven o’clock. We are at a sacred sexuality workshop. All our friends are deliciously naked, mingling around the snack table, nibbling on chocolates and carrots. Giggling and flirting and silliness everywhere.
op

My friend’s lover and I have been standing by the coffeepot: serene silence shared between sips. As he takes a step towards me, unfurling his arms in the universal gesture of let’s-hug-now, something inside me trembles. Time already seems strange. I make some sort of stupid joke, stalling. My heart is pounding. It feels like my words are some defense—but for what? I suddenly feel young, like a child.
p

I’ve heard about your hugs, I say. Should I be nervous?
p

No, he replies. A kind smile. Gentle, merry eyes.
p

We embrace.
p

I sigh. I melt. Something new is now here.

p
We stand here … minutes or hours, I’m not sure … the din and chaos of happy friends all around us. We are floating. We are floating in a sea of love and touch: no boat, no anchor, no map or plan. There is just this.

p
Only this.
p

Always.
p

p

SaveSave