All this time (5)

8.17 PM

It’s not as if she hadn’t considered this. If she’s honest with herself, and there really isn’t any point in lying now, not with his chest pressed against her back, and his hand resting against her hipbone. She’s staring at the wall, staring at the particular hotelness of this room. The textured wallpaper, the brass and amber light fittings. The heavy drapes and the mirror large enough to watch – what? All that they have just done? How many lovers has that mirror reflected? How many twisted limbs, how many mouths searching, fingers grasping?

His fingers are now playing at her hipbone like she is a piano, she remembers – had forgotten – this habit of his. The way his hands are never still, not when they are touching her.

A rooftop bar. A hotel bed. She could blame the fifth drink, or the way they moved downstairs to drink it, to the booth where their legs touched under the table, and how neither moved away from the heat. She could blame the stories that went deeper. I missed you when-. I wanted to tell you that-. Maybe it was the dress she wore, or their unfinished business, or the stars and the gods interfering.

What it definitely is, Elliott thinks, fingers tapping at bone, is crazy. Three years no contact, and then only hours to bring them back to this.

She is happy for the first time in three years. Terrified too, because she knows what he hasn’t said, and so now she turns to face him.

Ash? Heart in throat, removing his hand from her hip. Lacing fingers together.

Perhaps she heard the stories wrong.

Did you set a date yet?

A pause, too small for the question.

Yeah. August 15th. The earliest we could get the church we wanted.

He doesn’t look at her as she pulls her hand away. Does not see her counting down, or the decision she makes. August 15th. Calendars and clocks. Anything could happen by then.

~ Elliott,  What We Have Left

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All this time – the end is now the beginning … have finally figured out a way to use this in my new story. Her story …

This is where we left them: https://bodyremember.com/2015/06/01/all-this-time-4/

All over our skin

In the hours between 10 and 12

when limbs grow heavy and fingers light

when kisses stain with last year’s wine

and Venus can’t decide her name …

In the hours between 10 and 12

when toes protest and cotton clings

when lines are etched down threaded walls

and I cannot remember my name …

In the hours between 10 and 12

when hotels hum and cities dim

when bodies fuse under fervid heat

and melt the gold wrapped round your name …

In these stolen hours between 10 and 12

when the sun decides to look away

when darkness is poured all over our skin

– we baptise each other once and again.

Photo by Joanne Piechota
Image by Joanne Piechota

Eidyia’s note: Going over old posts this morning. Not sure what I was looking for. Maybe some way to peaceably remember?

I’ll still know

I’ll still know your birthday.

I’ll still know the date you said yes, still see the girl with her hand to her mouth and her back to the wall, surrounded by love and alcohol – these midwives who birthed her grief, and carried her, carefully, back into the world.

I’ll still know those next years by your door and its swinging. The calendar of words and reaching from either side, and the times we didn’t speak at all. How I left a trail of breadcrumbs all over the silence – and how you didn’t follow them home.

And I’ll know the times you did.

I’ll still know the last time I saw you, love. The last, last time, and I’ll count away from this day, as if it is my midnight, the end and the beginning of everything. Wondering still, in the dark of this hour, if the way you couldn’t love me – meant I couldn’t be loved at all.

~ Elliott, Into the After

 

Banksy Lovesickness
Banksy ~ Love Sick

Everything I know

I grind the past to dust the first time you make me come. The way your hand slides between my legs, and your words. The electric shock of your desire.

I want to kiss you here.

I forget everything I know.

I bare my teeth at you, a snarl that wants to catch your flesh; for the first time ever, I want to leave my mark. Whatever bound us to the rest of our lives shatters in the explosion that ensues.

Our landscape is forever altered, and you map it as I come.

I will soon covet your body with the intensity of one who borrows and must give back. This constant reaching, this constant touch – it is a need for tactile reassurance that consumes me. You have a wall around you – was that what they used to say? With you I smash this wall myself, frantic, fingers pulling at any barrier between us. I can never get close enough. I bite and scratch and wrap my arms and legs around you. I tell you that you are mine.

I invoke possession as the law.

Together, we draw roads and rivers across the skin, an intricate topography laid down through the trace of thumb, the pressing of palms. Territories are charted, mouths and hands as our guide. You map my heights and my depth; you are the first to discover the parts of me that reside below sea level, and the parts containing the highest of mountains. I spend a hundred nights raising my indelible flags against you, too. Landmarks I can claim as my own. I was here first, this kiss states. I was here, this sliding of my hand declares. I was here, this touch of tongue to nerve blazes.

Those who conquer are so desperate to be known. To be remembered. They forget that maps can disintegrate and borders can change. They forget that with time, every landscape alters.

And how often, where a civilisation once thrived – now, only ruins remain.

~ Maggie Valentine

joanne-piechota-rock-bublitz

Waltz

A memory that sits closer to the surface. A different conversation we dance around. We are discussing what would happen in the hours after Honey, I’m home! How it would be, if we were the ones on either side of the door. We spin an imagined history between us on this sunny, stolen afternoon.

That sure would be something, you say. If life were a dream.

You think my view of domesticity is naïve at best. You do not believe two people could sustain this every day. An intensity of skin to skin that does not leave room for God or neighbours, or tricycles turned over in the yard. Obsession may prevail in moments, yes – but it does not leave nearly enough time for real life, Maggie.

My parents still waltz in the kitchen, I defend. In the midst of chaos, they go into their dance. It makes the chaos beautiful. Or the dance. Even when there is work to be done.

Because not all love is scheduled, I say as you look at your watch.

But the moment is gone. I can see that I have lost you to the clock, once again.

Image by Joanne Piechota

Eidyia who sees. Who knows.

I ask you to christen me. I have nothing of yours to keep, nothing to mark me, and so a particular significance weights this request. This will be the only name we ever share, and I have already determined no matter what you decide, it will be mine to keep.

You take your time (and I think you’ve forgotten) when you come back with this – Eidyia.

Eidyia. The youngest, perhaps the most beautiful, of the Oceanides. The baby sister of the Nymphs who presided over all water flowing on earth. Eidyia. Pronounced Idea. The guardian of both seeing and knowing, a Goddess of knowledge. Some say she was in fact a sorceress, a witch in possession of the magical eye. Indeed, she would grow up to birth Medea, that ultimate enchantress, and the archetypal woman scorned (I was always better at research than you, my love).

But Eidyia!

The daughter of all things flowing, where nothing abides. Her father Oceanus, and her mother Tethys – the source of all things that never stay the same. As a young girl I used to scribble out the words of Heraclitus, finding comfort in his idea that everything is in motion. To think you could never step in the same stream twice! And now the personification. Eidyia. The goddess of a family in flux. The source of clouds and weather and quenched thirst. The shifting of mud and rocks and settled earth. The impetus rushing to the river mouth and pouring out in to a salty sea.

How did you come to this name, my love? As the only clue you left me, I have examined this from every angle (I would build a shrine to her if I thought this is where you’d fall at your knees). Because – EidôTo see. To know. What did I see my love?

What did I know that made you want to lay in my arms, to ask the truth of me?

Or was I nothing other than your siren on the rocks? A fresh water nymph with glistening legs, and a pretty face? We joked of mermaids without their tails, and you were always a naked husband – was this just an extension? Could you possibly know that I would wear this name the way others wrapped a diamond round their finger? That this would be your greatest gift? Did you name me with a gravity that matched how I took on this mantle?

Eidyia. The Goddess of Knowing. The Goddess in perpetual motion. What I wouldn’t have given for the waters to still. For a moment, treading water, where you were there right beside me. Waiting with the answers.

Eidyia at body, remember

This was written so many years ago. It required a little tidy up to re-post here, but the ideas were all there, way back when …

All that stays unknown

There he is, the morning of.

It is summer and he feels good in his skin. Stretched to the corners of his life, filling them out. Everything is as it should be; he is where he should be. He’s solid here, close to the ground, nothing shifting underneath him.

There he is. Oblivious and satisfied, this morning of.

Oblivious: Unaware. Without memory.

Oblivion then, is this. All that stays unknown. There are fires forgotten, under that skin. Little licks in his veins he tries to out-run. Thinking flames can be exhausted this way. Not knowing a single spark can revive.

And how close he is to burning, now.

There. Here. There he is.

He’s out the door, and the sky is blue, and he’s running along, not knowing her name. He’ll hear it today, this name, for the very first time. Unaware of the dreams she’ll soon gather, of the clocks and counting just ahead.

He doesn’t know that he will remember. And that she is his memory, waiting.

(I never, not for a single day, forget)