A’bridged nuzzling.

The sun made like a runaway today.

Let me lay you on your back, bare.

Crawl up on you like a curious, hungry animal,

and occupy myself with sniffing your scent.

Smells of you.

Because, the smell of the skin below your wrist

is not the smell of the skin stretching over your ankles

is not the smell of the thumping skin above your jugular

nor that of the skin behind your ear.

It will not smell of the skin between your legs

which will not smell as does the stench of your armpit.

Or the smell of your open mouth.

And, my incessant humming

will become Sygyt.

The strangely drone of polyphonic overtone singing.

And once I’m done,

I would pad circles on you

, like a dog preparing to sleep

, of tossing and turning

, and

, wrapping round you.

For warm comfort.

Finding the right proper position of

a deep winter nuzzle.

Feathers of eyelashes

Even in dreams, I remain yours.

I have come for none other.

The smell of chai spice pours skyward from the pot of boiling water.

Vapour blessing the room like sage humbly burned.

Pealing recalling things and those missed.

Blushing cheeks and bitten lip.

°

I have seen the city skies from on high; they light up like an introspective brain’s neural network.

Psst. Wake up.

Pushing my nose deeply into your neck,

to inhale; get your smell.

I wish to entwine the two;

Make the aroma of chai ever tied to the scent of you.

I remind myself to not forget this, mine intent,

whilst batting this piece of your thin skin with

the feathers of my eyelashes.

Dream of a sleepy hum.

Hush and sleep: he says.

You know the effect such words from you, produce in me, brut(e): I think.

I smile and snuggle under the covers.

I thought I could catch you: I mumble, frowning a bit, fretting you will be gone when I re-enliven.

Outside, hail begins softly falling.

Palm up

Relishing when your smirk draws my snarl.

Proving to me, that you are second to none.

Give me your open palm, I will trace the wrinkles running.

Massaging knuckles a’loose.

Popping like logs a’flame,

the liquid spaces between bones and cartilage.

I am cleaning your hand’s battleground

from being strewn with tension’s carnage.

Serving Specters

Come.

Sit by the fire in the hearth.

I will put my chin on your knee, stare into the ether and let my thoughts run.

Perched upon your feet, keeping your toes warm.

Sitting on the floor.

Closer to the earth.

The storm passes, the rain relents, and the sky above the Sound nearly recovers.

The air outside remains cold.

Locals say this place is cursed.

I’ve seen enough tragedies in others in my four months here, to believe it.

Heard of even more.

Yet, here shall I establish my residence.

A mid-thirty year old,

amongst the retirees still seeing themselves as inhabitants of Stellar Street.

Mick and Keith working the corner shop.

The wealthy snow birds hum, at the restaurant where I work, about migrating to the South for the winter.

Winter homes.

“Guess how old I am”: he says.

His wife giggles.

Howl I loathe this game.

But, this pair is old enough to not take anything personally.

78: I guess.

The correct answer is 97.

He proceeds to tell me experiences from both the first and second world wars.

I am captivated.

They do not take their leftovers to go. They turn down the offer of free bread.

°

The less well-to-do appear even more non-corporeal.

No winter homes to which they may abscond.

Disembodied spirits of bodies that no longer exist.

To serve and host at this restaurant requires second sight.

Many of these people long ago became invisible to most.

Are you Irish?: he asks.

No, I’m from the South.

Oh, I was stationed there with the good old boys. They went to bars during their off-time. I went to museums and landmarks. But, I was odd.: he tells me.

He shares stories of being an 18 year old from Montana who ended up in the South during George Wallace days.

I am captivated.

He and his wife take their leftovers home in a box and ask for extra free bread

which they are given.

A nuzzle

Let me nuzzle my cheek, just barely, against the uppermost part of your pectoral muscle while you tell me stories of before I knew you.

Let us, again, rub limbs together like how crickets sing, to keep warm.

Because I can see the pending winds of winter on the watery horizon of the Sound admidst the

clouds of steely grey.

Smoke from some celestial dragon finishing an exhalation

from his degree of inclination.

Pull close in arms and tether me against you.

Listen to the furnace rattle and to the homestead’s ribbing creaks.

Because, when the partially frozen rain begins descending,

we wilt not see but what is immediately in front of us,

So, let it be one to the other, through this season of alaying bare.

Off-the-cuff Choreography

A bath drawn to

to draw your words.

To soak your bones and remind your greyhound mind

to unwind.

Put the pen and paper away. I have nothing to say: he says.

Excellent. Í don’t wish to take dictation, then.

Ballet slippers donned and satin ribbons laced up my calves.

A custom pair. A parting gift from the corps

following a fall that took my left ankle’s ability to regularly dance en pointe.

There is no visible trace of the bone’s weakness, but I sometimes feel it,

still.

An act now saved for special occasions, and certainly not slick floors of bathing rooms.

But, I can still stand on my toes all day,

A white, gauzey skirt, flowing but slitted, and worn, only at home.

Black, satin camisole, containing little but fully covering.

A pinched waist.

There are valid reasons for dressing the part.

He says: Do your barre work in here. Can you extend each leg to the towel rack?

Yes, my extension is good but my turn-out requires me to warm up. Í’ll start with the countertop.

Familiar feeling of tendons pulling. Straining until a’loose.

Initially struggling to stay tight, they go loose like fretted guitar strings after many plucks.

Í arch my back and bend my spine backwards. It releases its tension more easily.

My arms move slowly like a lava flow.

Í warm my muscles.

Í imagine the heat your body feels, in the still hot bath water.

Í envision the expansion of your blood vessels and the increased flow of your bloodstream,

Therewithin.

The pulsing that your body sensates through the process of acclimating.

Í feel it.

It limbers me.

Í feel your eyes.

Í pretend not to but í delight in knowing that you know that í know that í am

under observation.

The awareness of this suddenly envelopes my attention and í slip from my posture,

but í do not fall.

Oops. Giggle.

Tell me, again, your mythos of Svetlana Zakharova and Robert Bolle.

Í love it when you have me repeat myself.

Well, she is from the Balanchine school, where every movement is lavish and ornate, pronounced and, often, painfully slow. Most male dancers get cast as choreographical fillers. They dance in support of a prima or a principal or a soloist, keeping her held in spotlights in impossible postures. This is changing, though. Bolle was the best at this. But, when he dances with Svetlana, she needed no outside support. She would hold her own positions while he knelt and/or took the spotlight. Her tenacity, strength, gave him a chance to both shine and rest. A chance to breathe. You know í found some of my prostrations from her La Bayadère variation.

He says: I know. The way you wrap your arm about your crown to cup your opposite cheek

My eyes have gone wide.

Í am loose now.

You look ready: he says.

Í know the perfect album: í say, flitting away.

From the other room, í drop the diamond tip to spinning vinyl.

Beaming.

Watch this: í say.

As the music flows.

My eyes remain open but í am not seeing.

Í feel as if becoming music in motion.

Í snake, í extend. Pronounce the flare of hips.

Í make strange signs with my fingers.

Í shift in this solo performance for the audience of the one.

His neck bends back and rests on the tub’s edge, eyes narrowing.

He begins speaking words as they come

to his mind.

There is no need to write these.

He says: I like how you begin with the restraint of ballet proper before losing yourself into more, less classical, feral movements.

Í whisper: ballet is a foundation of five simple positions from which infinite variations may be culled; but, dance is second to second and cannot be predicted, only experienced. It is undomesticated, improvised, choreography at heart.