Dividethe afternoon sun through a western panesets the note of our rendez-vousat something sepia-tonedand scented with cologne.briefly, a halo illuminates your profile,but as you paceyour silhouette cuts the lightlike a scene marker,and my mind races with thoughtsof film noir and editing in post.I sit on the mattress at the nexusof your cast shadow and our history.with each billowing sighI recall old visions:one where you proffer a single red carnationpinched between your fingers.in this shot, you are empty-handed--lines forgotten; smile erased.rather than take it from the topyou pack my bag as I pray.
Partneryou use a metallic star sequinto jam the clasp of my mother'sdouble-stranded black necklace, whichover the years has lost its "stick"but happens to complimentmy strapless number.you do this near-instinctively,violinist fingers gliding over my back.I can only gather my hair aside,spine exposed as you linger behind mefor the count of two breaths--I am stunned.the beads stay icy on my skindespite my best efforts to dance them loose.then I catch it, that smile,darting across your face,and the electric gleam of string lightsreflected in your eyes.afterwards, I undress in front of you for the first time.
We Never Leave This RoomI remember most fondly the scent of your colognewhen you brought me close against your jawline, my faceburied in the furnace curve of your shoulder.I could smell a far off coastal night, flooded by wild,bewitching calls under starlight. There your tongue wouldlap like waves, smooth against the pulse of my neck.I found myself waist-deep in that thrill, a scentof palm and undertow so indigo deep that Icouldn't tell what language could break the surface,and I'd breathe instead onto your ears and moan, pullingyour weight into the same space as my own,hoping you would know to submerge me.You never told me what it was called --the brand;I once whispered to you, yet unaware of how words cameonly after we did: "It smells like the sound of Bombay."With each tender repetition, my hand traced up and downyour sternum, thinking to envelop you whole. Underneathmy neck your arm moved, stretching out an acid ache.Bom --the note stretched to fill all four walls, 'til the beefa