Dark Silk Devotion

(July 2016)


There’s something silky in the air tonight, and I swear, babe, it’s not just the starlight, the moongleam, the frostglisten outside the window. It’s not just the feel of free breeze on fresh skin, the way it runs through your hair, over any imperfections on your face like they mean nothing,
because they are nothing, in the dark.
In the dark when it’s only hands, when it’s the chime of a smile and the taste of your green, green eyes.
In the dark when it’s a susurrus, a stirring in silence, a sentence in a whisper, a rustling wisp,
scratching at the blackboards of our closed eyelids and writing with nothing but music.
The rasp of violins, the plucked heartstrings of a banjo, the dull fistpound of drums, the chestdeep carving of cellos, that clean clear flute, and a slice of homestyle piano on the side; they are here with us, shaping around our bent bodies,
eddies of music, swirling instrumental pockets,
impossibly beautiful because it’s here and now and we’re here and now and no one can stop us from loving life, they’ve tried.
The complainers and the one-uppers, they’ve tried.
The kids who pick fights because their hands can’t uncurl, knuckles always purplebruised like plums, they’ve tried.
The ones who shake their heads and softly mock, they’ve tried.
The books and stories and songs that say we’re wrong to act the way we do, that we should be a different way, they’ve tried.
The ones who turned their backs to us when our tunes wove together, who looked at us funny and didn’t understand what you saw in me and I saw in you. They’ve tried.
And yet here we are, holding sweating hands, too cold to shiver,
the air runs through us like we’re sheets on a line, watch us ripple together, you and I,
watch me watch you watch me make you laugh,
watch us dance together, out of step, out of sync, out of time,
the only thing that moves together is our dried-out, choking laughter,
filled with the dust of our history.

Darling, my heart, my breath and my beat, take me on a journey I couldn’t take alone.
Make me promise something I’m afraid to deliver, then make me fulfill it.
Leave me on the shores of my own peace, for a little while, just long enough for me to want you to come back.
Look at me without smiling, then smile at who I am when you aren’t looking.
Never stop telling me when I’m beautiful, and never stop lying when I’m not.
Put your hand right here, on mine, and link us together with your fingers.
In the dark, look at who I am, past the zits, the blank stare, the shy darting eyes that won’t stay anywhere for long, and see someone who is worth knowing.
In the dark, when I’m on top of the sheets and you’re underneath, put your head close to mine and ask if I’m awake.
In the dark, hear the concert-hall of my ribrafters shaking with the concertos contained within me, just begging to get out.
Touch my shoulder. And know your presence is enough here, with me, in the silken dark.