Your coat is still in my closet,
and I know it's been years since we've called it quits—
It shows its age.
The rusted zipper stuck in place,
the faded blue nylon,
the cotton stuffing spilling out of elbow patches—
You've moved on,
I have too.
But nights when it's coldest and he's working late,
I put it on and wrap myself in the memory
of a passionate love that burned too quickly.
I can smell the cigar smoke on your collar,
feel the warmth of your skin in the sleeves.
I can feel your lips pressed firmly against mine.
They taste like ash.
And as I lie in bed, kissing and caressing your essence,
allowing thoughts of you to creep back into my crevices,
Do you still keep the sun-bleached sports bra
I left under your pillow?
Do you sniff it while she sleeps?
Do you imagine taking it off, putting my breasts in your mouth?
I ask this as I traces my fingers around my areolas,
and my nipples harden under the prick of your tongue.
Dear, rose, fill this blue Christmas
with violets. Love is stagnant in
this winter storm. Frigid air clings
to my bones. My teeth chatter like
an audience in a crowded auditorium
waiting for the show to begin.
Show me love. Tease me, caress me,
please me. Spread my legs and let
spring bloom before the ice sets.
Aren't you cold? Yes, numb to your
touch, but inside I'm burning up.
Come inside me—I'm burning up.
We didn’t get that far. The bed frame parts are scattered across the floor, the box spring is propped up against the hallway wall outside the bedroom. The mattress—where I lie on my back, knees drawn to the ceiling—blocks the front door.
I squeeze the back of my thighs to still my legs from shaking, but it’s no use. I can feel his tongue down there, and the memory of it sends me over the edge. Philip’s tongue has the strength of an ox, the prehensility of that of a giraffe. His mouth reaches places Levon can’t even dream of, and Levon loves to boast about how big he is, how far he extends when he’s hard.
I hear the shower turn on down the hall. He must want me to join him. What other need would he have to wash? We haven’t gotten dirty . . . not yet . . . and we kind of have this thing with showers.
He texted me that he had a treat. Silly of me to think that it was anything that would give me pleasure.
I’m too old to be on the floor—joints still popping when I return to my house hours later. And was it so hard just to do it in the bed? I’d disappear under the covers, lay my face in his lap. But then, he likes to tower over me, watch me be submissive.
She would reminisce of a life before a husband and kids.
She untied her robe, let it drop to the floor, felt the cool kiss of air on her nipples as the air conditioning kicked on for the final day of summer. She imagined a younger Jeffery behind her, cupping her breasts in his hands, biting her neck.
She kept a rose toy in a shoebox in her closet. Desiring a quick release, she would finally put it to use.
The thunderous roar of the rushing water captures everyone’s attention. Waterfalls have a knack for drawing in large crowds.
No one bothers to look upstream, where the salmon spawn. Where Rick and I undress, neatly fold our clothes and lie them on the dampened boulders that line the banks.
The water is warmer than I expect. But then I’m burning with impatience, and I’m numb below my waist, eager only for his touch.
He slowly approaches, and I drop to me knees, as gracefully as I can, splashing the shallow water, sinking into the sediment and broken-up rocks, hoping not to disturb the female laying her eggs next to me.
His everything in my face, I open my mouth and let him in, and it’s as if everything in this dense Alaskan rainforest—one hundred years ago buried under sheets of ice—goes silent. Watching.
A drop on my forehead, and then a drizzle. We hear the patter of feet as waterfall spectators race back to the shelter. No one veering off the path, where the shrubs part, to climb down the steep hill and catch a glimpse of mother nature doing her best work.
The ripples in the water multiple as we lie midstream, the surface barely covering his back. The rain picks up, urging him on, and with each draw back and thrust forward, he creates tiny waves that crash against the back of my thighs as we copulate alongside the salmon in a place reserved for wildlife, letting our primal instincts loose.