once in a while

Waiting, wistful–no, wishful, willful, unwilling, willing perhaps in the window seat, I peek out at the shadows on the street, half expecting your innocent prance past the parked cars across, up the path.

I found your note tucked into the letter box, your invitation, I was here, meet me once more, tomorrow, noon. I am here.

I am here, black sheer stockings rolled up my shaved legs early in the day, garters catching the lace beneath the short skirt, someone saw, blushed, said nothing, carried on, then whispered, he’ll think of me.

Think of me, I know you would be with me, if… If days were longer, if we had the time, space, cherished moments, life itself, some other life. Days grow shorter in autumn, clearer, these blue moons so unusual, still another three years’ wait, I hear, so rare, so lovely, you could.

We could, you know. We could race up the stairs once again, and you could catch me, throw me to the bed and kiss me, yes. You could lay your head in my lap and close your eyes, drift off, then stretch high to lie beside me, hold me close, too close, so close. You could let me love you while you fuck me I fuck you you love me.

Or maybe you do, or did, or wanted to, or could have, or could never say, or never did, or did, or will, or perhaps it was simply fear, or desire, deferred.

To greet you here, love, noon, today, tomorrow, skin so sweet, so six a.m., so Saturday, so sleep, now, love, sleep.


Did I tell you about the peaches? I saw them there, these Hudson Valley beauties, in baskets, three dollars or so for the entire bunch of them. I stood in the pouring rain, and handed my bills to the woman at the counter. She pushed her hair behind her ears. No, she had never been to Spain, she told the man in the straw hat, who told her that he had just returned, that he was back now, that he was home. She looked away from him. No, she had never traveled to Europe, not even to New York City, she said, but her children had, and her neighbor had, and she looked at me with my dripping hair and took the watermelon from me, placed it on the scale, and then the cantaloupe, and the berries, same price as the peaches, but fewer of them. She said that it was not supposed to rain today, but here we were, the puddles now flooding the parking lot as I ran out with my bags and tossed them in the back, rushed to get in myself, and wrapped a beach towel  around my wet hair, and started the car.

I drove, drove on, forgot the peaches, turned down WFUV now in the driving rain, music now news, cars slow in front, cars fast behind me, the rain slowing, then stopping, then spitting, then sunny on the road that wound beside the railroad tracks, few cars, radio, “She Moves On” sings Paul Simon, little direction, the peaches now fragrant in the back of the car, so enticing that I pulled off and grabbed one, bit into it, bit my lip, juice running down my face in a sudden burst of sweet pain. I missed you then.

I missed you in the hot car, steam running off the streets as the sun hit once again, the corn green and tall here–nowhere else this year–and sparkling now, leaves hanging with the weight of the water, and again those peaches, I would feed one to you.

I would hold the peach so you could take a greedy bite from it, lick the juices from my fingertips, from my mouth, the sticky fruit no matter, in the heat, on a roadside, your salty rough face, calloused hands, shirt rolled up to your elbows, brown brawn, I want you. I want you there, that day, want the heat, and the clenching tight desire in my gut, the sweet lust for you, your lust for me, your company, and yes, sweet flesh, want you dripping down my face.


I woke up late this morning, morning obscured by clouds and Saturday calm, delight of good rest, promise of the day. Cycling today, nowhere to go, but go, still, the gently sloping turns around trees, greenery full now to the edge of the road in the height of summer, heat deferred in the grey day, pedals guiding me around these paths familiar, but not, the tinge of unexplicable nostalgia subtle as I go on, honeysuckle here, where the lightning bugs came out two nights ago. I wanted to show you then, but thought of it anyhow, and now, yes, I would tell you about the honeysuckle, dripping fragrance obvious, but I would still say something, I always do. I would say something about the soaring sweetness of it, the tree swing flying high above the meadow, my heart beating fast when you have finally caught me again, when you have pinned me down, and smile because you don’t have to, unbuttoned, the rush, giddy desire suspended, extended, delicious. Silence is sublime in the space it leaves, space to think and dream, and wonder, and ramble in the hazy world of Saturday.


I was thinking, just now, about your shoulders.

I was thinking about you, alone with me, turned back to me while I kneaded your shoulders, sore, exhausted you said as you let your head hang loose, as I felt my nipples harden at the luxury of your muscles, your smooth skin, your naked back.

My hand wanders, you know, wanders down and round, down to your stiff cock, now down to my own slick warmth, my thoughts wandering, your shoulders now over mine, the effort of holding yourself over me, tease, then, the need, your breath soft against my neck, sinking, the initial gratification, then more, want more, yes more, miss you, miss your strength, miss your shoulders, miss this.


You asked me to make pancakes.

I do not eat pancakes–shouldn’t, I say–but I made them anyway, for you.

The batter is lumpy in the yellow melamine mixing bowl, and I look at it, grudgingly pouring small circles onto the hot griddle. It is too hot, butter burning now beneath the cakes. You say you love that smell, and reach beneath me to open the oven, to pull the bacon from the broiler.

I watch your cakes bubble up on top, slowly, milk sweet, hot, scalding sweet, with the coffee you have made, the wood musty in this far-off cabin of yours, bugs humming, birds, peas-in-Canada, I hear, when you open the back door and whistle, your cat’s sleek fur now circling my ankles as I flip quickly, flip, quickly, and they are nearly ready, bacon, crisp, two plates, and your porch, two chairs, a small table between us, last night’s beer bottles and my flip-flops, our swimsuits flung over the railing. I can see my breath in the cool, the humid now near the lake, there beyond the fog. The coffee is so hot, your breath so hot, kisses hot in the early morning, the violets in the meadow, spring dew, you pinching my nipples as I carry two plates, the syrup hanging from my fingertip.

I should never eat these things, but you are right. They are perfect, burned butter, syrup, bacon, coffee. I am a child again. This is bliss, yes, morning, yes, you, yes, so comforting, so familiar, so inevitable, it seems, in the haze of morning, Ivory soap on your hands now as you turn my face toward yours. I might sleep again, soon, might fall back into bed with you, your kisses. Might wake, too, to wander through the dewy violets, to the water, warmer than the air, you were right. I might jump in, if you asked me, might swim in these dark waters, these known waters, these waters I have loved for so long, might dive, then, into the deep, might come up for air, might, might, wish I may, I might make pancakes again for you.

stood up

The porch light had burned out, I remembered as I walked quickly up the sidewalk. The footsteps behind me had seemed menacing in the late night, though I no longer heard them when I turned up the street toward home.

Now it was a Saturday, monthly concert evening. But the music that ordinarily transported me from my everyday existence had left me wanting tonight, not from the lack of skill on the part of the pianist, but more likely from my own state of mind as I walked into the concert, the untorn ticket for the seat beside mine still in my wallet. He had said 7:30–I was sure of it–but as 7:40, then 7:50 went past without a word, without a sign, I walked into the crowded hall and found my seat.

The night would not be spoiled, beloved music still promising its sweetness on a soft, warm evening. But the Chopin I so dearly love only irritated me in its perfection, as if it were mocking me along with the couples casually touching hands as they leaned into one another to whisper, a giggle, an arm swept around a shoulder. Intermission came, and I glanced at my messages in the lobby, then felt a lump in my throat, a warm embarrassment sweeping over me at it as I saw that he had not answered my text, not even now. I walked outside, cherry trees blooming all around in the glow of spring. I looked up at the stars, wishes so faraway, the cherry blooms, oh, bitter sweetness. I dried my eyes, and felt a sudden urge to be anywhere but there.

The streets were filled on this beautiful night, muffled voices, an occasional laugh drifting out from the restaurants, the clink of glasses. Wine cooked off in a sauce, that aroma stopped me, beckoned me, aroused my hunger. I glanced back at the glowing lights, turned back, and walked into the cafe.

It was you, I should have known, you, bent over your magic pan, the whisk quick in the thickening sauce, the heat, your face flush from the hot stove. I knew, the thyme, the memory of your hands on mine. You stood behind me once as I chopped for you, carrots, onions, celery, your wine-lush lips on the back of my neck. You threw the vegetables into the sizzling butter, tossed them, then turned me around and kissed me, pushing my blouse away from my shoulder. We sipped that wine, that crisp white wine poured onto the mirepoix, the thyme on top, we cheered and sipped, gulped, the droplets from your glass then falling onto my chest, my buttons undone as the wine dripped down, your mouth tracing the trail of the wine, you brusquely pulling my bra from my breast, and kissing me there, there in the kitchen, my nipples firm, and ripe, and wanting.

The beef would sit in that stock with the mirepoix for a long time, I knew. I used to know the nature of braises, their slow simmer, your teasing kisses in the meanwhile, the long road, the unhurry, the same ending, always, and none the less satisfying for the repetition. I had forgotten.

I had forgotten, the pleasure, the elixir, brown stock, your beard scraping the soft flesh of my inner thighs. It was you, yes, you in that kitchen. I ordered the wine, and today’s special, and I sent my compliments to the chef.

It was spring, as I walked back past the concert hall, now dark, a cool wind picking up, raindrops starting to fall, the glowing lights gone, stars gone, cherry blossoms blowing from the trees. The streets had emptied, nearly, only a few pedestrians out now, hurrying, like me. I rummaged through my purse, and pulled out my keys as I made my way back to my dark house.

You startled me, my heart pounding as you appeared suddenly behind me, grasped my long hair and pulled my neck to your impatient mouth. I began to scream, and you hushed me, the heady scent of stock still in your hair, subduing me. My keys fell to the ground, it was you, your beard now scraping my neck, your hands round my wrists as you pushed me roughly to the door, my breath short, your kisses cool, soothing my raw skin.

It was you, your hair, sweat, pillow still warm, fingers, lips gently tracing the lash marks on my backside in the early morning light, the cream, coffee, wet grass and blooms, wet street, the gently turned eggs, the luxury of rain, cool, the lost, the recovered, the here, the now.


My skirt flutters in the breeze as I walk past the empty daytime houses, shoes dusty from the shortcut through backyards, through last fall’s leaves scattered once more in the days that have held tight to early spring. It all seems endless now, the wind and the cool, summer teasing so early this year, then blown away. I have lost my way, it all seems so familiar, yes, this warmth, I want, I am home again, yes, impatient, yes.

The quiet here torments me, the after laughter, scene of passion, skin still longing somehow, burning, skin that hours earlier seemed so satisfied.

I want you.

I want the sting, steam rising from the bath, my skirt slid over my hips and onto the cold tile, my sweater tossed upon the towels, your slap once more revived in the hot water,  moment recalled, the image in the mirror fogged, forgotten, the wish for the unexpected, the wandering, the bittersweet intensity of my lips wet and anticipating, the desire to retrace measures of pain and pleasure, the sublime, the careful dance.

Gnossienne number 1: the path of your fingertips.