Lines for Litha
How my flesh summers,
how my mind shadows,
meshed in this brightness
Eavan Boland, In Her Own Image
Blunt iron cast of your eyes, flushed with bare facets of life: sundown glints, bronzes the lashes. Crystal cyan, gleaming bright; then flashing, storm-dark—an iris contracts beneath the pupil as it spreads like ink in still water. You are a self-contained chiaroscuro: inviting, irreverent. Tendrils of hair fall back across the earth: flurried comets’ tails that tumble soft and fast against a fading sky, darker and sweeter than carmine or rust. Your shoulders are clean and bare, unmarred by the wine-and-vermillion conflagration, the blistering dreamscape, the triumph.
Across hollow blades of of grass, shadows chase reams of lingering sun: the rose dusk, the clandestine haze. A prosaic symmetry—conversation, indication—murmurs across us with the fading light. Calypsonian rhythms and sparks of meaning; the hushed, sweet ache of an untold yearning; the lilting verse; the strange edges of your mind whereupon my words falter, catch, cease to be. Violets breathe dimly in the luster of our silence.
Lips damp with Corona, bitten raw to a willing blossom, their softness crusted with flecks of glittering ruby. Bodies meet and passions swell with the rites of midsummer, the wild fruits of its harvest: elder, cedar, silver birch. Flesh, taut and yielding, wrought with rosemary and a warm blush beneath my hands, freckles like a lilac spray, golden in the last light. A tongue caresses the wandering teeth, soothes the caustic edges of speech—honey fair drips from each unconscious word.
This night becomes us, a festival of fire and light. Idolatrous nocturne, the edges of untold wildness: a fertile darkness which the world leaves un-exalted, unexplored.
So you dance, and I drink you in. Firelight spits from your outstretched fingertips, tangles in the tresses of your hair. Makeup running like graffiti and a gaze that rifts the darkness, inexorable. The natural language of each new motion draws back the gossamer layers of my vanity, seeks what I am as it bleeds through what I was and will be: what I fear, what I think, what I hope to become. Chains leave impressions on a trembling wrist—the want that tyrannizes, entices, bursts forth—I dive as though into coils of earth. Roses wrapped between white thighs, sinews of vine pierce flesh—currents of copper, the shower of deep rich red you inspire, I am flooded in crimson. Breathless, I take you in.
This blind knowledge, this incendiary craft of tongues, uttering phrases like promises, muscles taut, knuckles clenching sweet and cinder-edged, I am burning at my core. Moonlight still more real than these lips against your neck, the soft bites and fractures of light, pale across vertebral ridges, feathered cicatrices, silver-tinged skin—I fathom the gleam against bare, intricate bones.
You are more than woman now. You are a moment, a memory, a goddess enfleshed. Primitive, sacred, in the scarcity of stolen hours, we eschew belonging, decry obligation. Accidents, shadows, illusions all cease. Finally, mercifully, I am lost to myself. Those voices in your head—they are in mine now, too.
Your silhouette beside me, graceful in the in the morning light. My eyes search, sigh, slip on dew-dappled skin. As you bloom, then scatter, like petals of hyacinth, I feel the warm sweat, the salt-wave miracle that drenched and now dries upon my bare chest.
I want to say that we clash like things heavenly, like the grinding jaw of celestial bodies, absolute, inevitable. But ichor moves like a birthright in your veins, and I am, at best, a prophetess, fit only to worship or recount. When you blossom with ripe, rich rhapsodies, a bliss maddens my heretic soul, this admiration licks, flame-like, across the earth. Tongues of longing curl in its wake. Still, like to us, the scene entwines.
Drinking from dawn-drenched hues, you awaken me. You enliven me. You are what the last one was not. Child of the harvest, life incarnate under solstice skies—not a wayward echo of best-forgotten winter, her thin voice and sharp-edged bones and badly broken oaths—you are the warm twilight of my body, its heather fields.
Your flesh haunts mine. In loving it, I fear you. In fearing you, I ache to love.
I feel my soul lapse into silence. Language-less at last, I dream.