I had forgotten. This absence as presence. The thought of you wrapped around me, played between fingers, slid between thighs.

I had forgotten the breathing walls, the arching into darkness, the reaching for-


I had forgotten. And now.

Your name on my lips, heavy. Falling. Snakes under my skin and yours grasped tight. Clay and thumbs pressed hard. Making.


Now. I. Remember. You.

Jacqueline Bublitz at body, remember

Image by Joanne Piechota




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?

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


Every single time

The first time I come. It doesn’t feel like fireworks. It feels like breaking into a run. That moment when muscles coil, prepare. And suddenly there is a hand pressing at your lower back, propelling you forward. You go from heavy to light in an instant, you’re sprinting, feet barely touching the ground. Everything rushes by, and it’s you right there at the centre, flying.

That’s what it feels like.

And then you come crashing back to earth, heavy limbs and hard breath. Everything slows to its usual, unbearable pace, and the loss of that lightness is as painful as a punch. You were free, you were running. And now you are back here on the ground.

I never let Mr. Jackson see how sad this loss makes me. How it makes me cry. Every single time.

~ Alice, Into the After

Image by Joanne Piechota

When I am here

From: Maggie Valentine <mvalentine@gmail.com>

Subject: You

Date: 27 March 2010 00:46:00 AM AEDT

To: mackben@gmail.com


You pulsate through even the question of what to have for dinner.

You are trapped deep in my nerve, Mack. You have spread under the surface of my skin like a bruise. You are the slick sliding down my neural pathways. The snap and lock and spark that causes the lights to blow when I flick a switch.

You are the click of my land mines before they explode. The flavour I taste when my mouth is empty. You are the moment before I come, all taut and jangled nerve, more acute and curious than the consummation.

You are my own teeth on lip, the ache of my breast. You are the inexplicable detachment of mind to body, so that my head is there when I am here.

You are the memory of muscle, the quickening of my blood. You are the juice that flows through me and makes me wet when I have not even noticed the weather.

You who loses no sleep over me, who turns to another and makes your bed every morning (and the nights I cannot bear to think of).

You, who cannot know how far and completely I have fallen.

M (Your Valentine)

Rock Bublitz at body, remember by Joanne Piechota

Image by Joanne Piechota


As if I am the sun

Where did you come from?

You ask me this once, at some hotel, some time, somewhere. Frustration, and something else wrapped around the question. A glint of admiration, perhaps, for my stubbornness, for the fight I’ve just caused, and the way it wakes you up every time. Makes your breath come a little faster, quickens your blood, and suddenly you’re alert, ready. Swimming to the surface of your own skin.

An island fished up out of the sea, I answer, as you slide two fingers inside me. Eyes locked, words exhaled, and the scent of moss, and dirt, and opening flowers as I arch toward your hand.

Everything is wild there, I say, as you turn my skin to a river.

Argument forgotten, won, when you place your fingers in my mouth, and I bite.

You laugh, and say – Apparently. Our eyes still locked – yours the colour of black sand, silver-flecked and shimmering, as if I am the sun.

Your eyes, I say, remind me of home. You would like it where I come from.

I like it here, you say, fingers traveling back down.

Leaving your safe harbour for a night, or an hour, exploring my body, and my stories, taking a queer kind of energy from this un-shared, uncivilised history. Before you return to that harbour, and its polite, still waters. To the place you came from, Mack.

An island fished up out of the sea. A silly answer at the time, details from a childhood story I barely recalled. Yet something of this myth sits with me, still. The idea of landscape retrieved. Or found. Bodies and stories, and memories breaking through.

Everything is wild there.

Even the prettiest flowers, you said, later in the night. And that glint of something else was back. A glittering desire for my wildness, when your own was set too deep in your bones. Calcified and covered over, ancient and forgotten – with mine right here, brand new.

I tried, of course, to bring yours to the surface. Nights like that.

Nights like this, I’m remembering. When your eyes looked like black sand, and I was the sun.

Wondering, now, if you might have understood something better than me, Mack. Wondering if the things you cannot keep might be better left, deep down.

Landscape at body, remember

After years of sleeping

A crack down the phone. Electricity. I can hear the shift, even in the silence that follows.

And then this.

Lucy. Tell me what you see.

I … I stumble against the words. How are we here? Here we are. Seeing the line, only as we step to cross it.

Tell me what you see.

And I’m looking at my body now, kicking off the sheets. Wanting to do this. Suddenly. Wanting to wake up after years of sleeping.


I’m here, Joe. I’m … tell me what you want to know.

Of course it was leading to this. From the moment he walked into my apartment, and we didn’t quite know how to touch. Or right after, when we continued to meet in secret, night after night. The decision made then, not to tell anybody. Shared secrets, those that belong to the two of you, are a very different weight to carry. They bind you to each other, and they make you search each other for their meaning.

It has to mean something – when you hide the truth like this. No one has ever needed to protect an unimportant secret.

And so here we are. Here is where our deception has taken us. Joe telling me where to put my hands. Joe’s voice like silk, sliding off my skin. His low commands, and my own fingers responding, following his instruction.

Tell me where, tell me what to do, Joe.

He is a patient teacher, his words making me find all of the broken parts for myself, helping me fuse them into something whole. Because he’s there too, telling me how, and my body is metal and fire under this touch. That’s what I see under my skin when I close my eyes, when I let him guide me. Silver bones and bright red nerve, before I’m pushed right out of my own skin, pulled apart and dissolved, suddenly, exquisitely, into something beyond a body and scars.

I don’t even recognise the sound of release I make, the surprised cry from deep within.

I’ve never done this before.

You’re frigid, I think, Adam said once, after yet another failed attempt to make my body respond. Always such concerted effort, and constant focus, until I would panic under this pressure, and my mind would go blank. Apologising over and over for the numbness, for my failure to please him. I thought it would always be this way for me. I thought it was my body’s fault.

I try to process what I have just discovered, what Joe has led me to, tonight. And I want that feeling again. Now. The tremors haven’t quite let me alone; it is as if my cells are cementing the sensations so that I won’t forget. My breathing is shallow down the phone, my fingers remembering what to do; I fall silent as they start their journey over, repeating these new and bright lessons learned.

I have always been a quick study with the right guide.

But this extended silence between us has worried Joe; he wonders aloud if he has pushed me too far.

Have I, Lucy? Are you all right with this? With what just happened?

(Lucy. Tell me what you see. I have never known such care.)

Joe. It’s okay. More than okay. My assurance is delivered between jagged breaths. Just give me a minute.

Metal and fire, under my skin and behind my eyes, all over again.

I’ve never done this before.

Joe’s burst of laughter at my revelation sounds both perplexed, and relieved. It is a beautiful hum against my ear, and as my body arches toward his voice, I spill over into laughing too.

And it feels like music played across my skin, as I tell Joe exactly what I’m making of his lessons now.

Photo by Joanne Piechota

Image by Joanne Piechota