After a moment she closed the drawer…slowly, gingerly.  She laid out her things on top of the dresser.  Then she bent forward, stretching to put on her stockings.

I closed my eyes and listened as she put on her clothes.  When I looked again she was standing in an evening gown, taller than I had ever seen her, her hair swept back.  Diamonds sparkled from her clavicles, her ears, her wrists.

She placed her phone in a pocketbook on top of the dresser. She snapped the pocketbook closed and turned around.

“Go back to sleep,” she said.

(Back Door:  Enter “Exquisite Stillness” into the search bar.)


In Exquisite Stillness

Sailor’s phone buzzed on top of the dresser.  I wanted to know who it was, to sit forward in bed and peer up over the dresser…but I stayed my curiosity, and laid still.  Then I heard the light touch of her naked, hurried footsteps against the smooth wood floor of the corridor.  I laid my head back into the pillow, trying to reproduce the position I’d been in before.  She ran in with a dress in her hand, which she placed down on the dresser, exchanging it for the phone.

“Hello?” she asked, and paused. A man’s voice sounded from the tiny speaker.  Her body relaxed; she sank into one hip.

I opened my eyes completely.  I could see the curve of her spine in the lamp light.  I looked more intently.  I could see that her tattoo was a single picture, although the detail was so subtle, the light in the room so low, that I couldn’t make out the image.

“P.” She said, “I know.  I’m coming.”

She shifted to the other hip.  There was a softness, a sensuality to her movement.  I stared.

Then she didn’t move.  She stood there naked, stock still, with the phone to her ear, listening, in exquisite stillness.

(Back Door: Enter “Motionless” into the search bar.)


She stood at her dresser, opposite the foot of the bed, and switched on a lamp.  She opened an upper drawer, removed some things, and then walked back out of the bedroom, leaving her phone behind.  As she passed the head of the bed, I saw her back lit briefly by the bedside lamp I’d switched on earlier.  An elaborate, subtly colored tattoo covered most of her back.  Her hips swayed as she walked, and she disappeared into the darkness of the corridor.  A burning curiosity came over me; I wanted to know about her more than ever.  I wanted to know what the image was.  I held my breath, and waited for her return.

Get Ready

I heard the bathroom door close, then I heard footsteps.  Without knowing why, I pretended to be asleep, narrowing my eyes to slits.

Sailor walked into the room naked, holding her phone.  She crossed to the bed and kissed my forehead, then began dressing.  I watched her get ready.

When She Comes

As I hunch over this desk in the darkness of my rented room, thinking of you, and our love, I realize that I do not express our love, except as a feeling…

And this is how my love for Sailor is different; it is less a feeling, and more a living.  It is an action, and a movement, and a doing.

Perhaps, if I explain what occurs between us, if I give testament, as I would to witnesses, it would be a beginning…

So I will tell you about Sailor.

Sailor is my lover.  And everything we have together grows from our love, our physical love, just as the sparkle of sunlight on a dewdrop lives on a leaf which feeds on the thick hummus, through the coiling of a root in the black soil, which is decay, and which is life…

Our world grows from our fuck.  Our fuck is a ritual, and a living, and a rite, and a work.  It is an annointing, and a joining, and a freedom.  It is a mercy, and a song, and a light.

We knew from our first days together that our need for each other’s pleasure, for the fact of our coupling, was an engine that could carry us through any darkness, if only we could cultivate an instant to shift the color of morning from purple lethargy to the pale gold of dawn, and change our skin from the skin of sleep to the skin which is awakened, and astonished, to be the skin of touch, and of sensation.

Even in the moment before desire, in the moment when touch is touch alone, and its lightness awakens something, gently at first; it grows, and spreads to our lips, and our fingers…and becomes our prayer, our daily bread, which is not consumed greedily, or all at once, leaving us sated, and inactive…but which is divided across the span of time, so that a single sentence spoken between us may reach across a day, a week, a month…so that our lovemaking is divided by our rituals, our daily tasks…so that walking, and sitting, and standing, cover us lightly like the finest silks.  In this way, we are sensate in the daytime; in this way our talking prolongs our come cry into song.

We make love, every morning,  year in and year out, so that a decade breaks, and it is still the morning of our love.

This is how I know Sailor; this is how I love her.

We share the riches of the earth; we share a kissing of roots.

It is no gloating; I do not proclaim it as prowess, or accomplishment.  I proclaim it only to say we devote ourselves to roots.  Just as some lovers kiss…everyday we touch, and resolve to touch, and fake nothing, and give movement to our breath, and time.  We allow ourselves to feel, so that just as our breath rises in our bodies, our love also rises.  It rises, and it grows…if it is allowed to grow…and not forced to pop like fireworks which fall back as dust, and ribbons of ash, leaving a darkened sky which is unfilled until the next time something is constructed, and brought forward, and exploded to impress…

Our love is like a green shoot; it is tender, and slowmoving, and alive.

After all, what tree, when lit at night by candlelight, does not bring dazzlement and wonder to the eye?  What blossom, in its flowering, does not open for days on end?  What stars do not shine most brilliantly when the darkness which falls is encompassing, oceanic, complete?

(Back Door:  Enter “Nail the Definitive” into the search bar.)

If I had met Sailor

If I had met Sailor at any moment other than the night I lit cigarette after cigarette in the smoke-filled air of a club called Lakshe, the only sign of its existence a massively built, neutral-faced man standing in front of the metal door to a warehouse way out on the West Side, almost in view of the water, it wouldn’t have been possible (or would it?), for her gentle habits to inform me as they did…because it was then that the damp of sweat on the smoke-saturated air became a pleasure for my lungs, because it was then that I found sensuality in the absorption of an atmosphere so thick no further cigarette was necessary.  Sitting down to enjoy the strange fullness of my own breath in that hot, humid crowd of smoking dancers was all the pause required for her to ask me for a light.

Later I learned that smoking a pill for her was a skin deep gesture…perfect air the one small thing she was willing to forgo to be absorbed into a world of decadence and freedom…a freedom which suggested that a man, too, could be taken up as an indulgence (as if a man were like a cigarette, by some analogue of pleasure and its damages), as if asking for a light were also asking him to set fire to the very thing which in her mind might have represented him…as if watching a Phoenix ready to set fire to its own feet would be all the confirmation she would need that he sat in some passive form of agreement…as if he might say, “Yes.  Yes, for tonight, I accept your philosophy, in total. I accept your environment, your world, your smoke, your entourage…”

…a statement no less damning for the fact that her world had people in it…that her world included her girlfriend, and therefore connected her to a more concrete notion of reality…

…because it was the girlfriend who would notice whether I picked up the tab for breakfast once we’d made it out of there, and were walking along the street, me with my black T-shirt wet to the hem, them with hair plastered down from dancing, all of us walking fast and cold in some kind of membrane, some kind of moving embrace which grew from the excitement of fresh acquaintances…

…This was the only way I could have met her which could possibly have allowed her to exert such total influence over who I have become these however many years later.

Dear Sailor

Dear Sailor,

Late at night, when I am alone, there comes a moment, at the threshold of coming, when you flash across my mind.  Then, if only for an instant, my body, my hands and arms, my skin and sense of smell, all of me, knows what it is to be with you…inside of you, my hands wrapped around your body.  And if you are alone, and asleep, with your mind adrift in dreams, you will feel the message as a sigh, a soft sensation, a memory of me, passing through your body.  You will remember me, feel me, feel this pleasure in your body.

We will communicate in this way, from far away, without words, without sight or sound.  When I come, you will know.  From thousands of miles away, I will call you with my come-cry…and you will think of me.  And you will do the same.

This will be our secret.