The wild charge

This is a vignette from my newsletter.


“I want to feel the wild charge of your bare skin against mine,” you said.

It was late at night and I had been driving for hours through Maryland Virginia North Carolina. We passed a billboard that said, “It’s not a choice, it’s a CHILD.” And another that said, “In the beginning, God created.” Next to the words was a picture of an ape with a slash through it.

T. had to pee so I veered off the 95 toward a promised Exxon station, through country lanes and a sky so electric my skin became one giant staticky pulse.

A sign on an abandoned storefront advertised “the coldest sodas in Bolton.”

We must be in Bolton, I said to no one, and pictured a lone man shoveling ice on top of a mountain of undrunk soda cans, day in and day out, the way Sisyphus pushed and pushed his rock up that hill only to have it tumble down again.

You said, “I don’t know how to describe this. But it’s wonderful.”

I thought of our last night together and a line from M Train appeared:

“I felt conscious of everything: a beating heart, the scent of a song wafting in a conflict of breezes, and the human current heading home.”

I thought, To the romantic, no door ever truly closes.

In Baltimore, every place I went I thought of it in terms of whether I would take you on a date there. Clavel (yes, but only if we could sit outside). The Visionary Art Museum (absolutely). The hipster bar with the low lighting and the pisco sours topped with tiny chamomile flowers (yes yes! We would sit on low wooden benches and kiss languidly and you would graze my bare thigh with your fingernails.)

I don’t live in Baltimore and you don’t live in Baltimore but still I was thinking this.

I didn’t tell you but after the WASP wedding a girl in tortoise shell glasses asked if she could kiss me and I said yes. She pulled her dress down and there were two heart tattoos above her breasts—an angel heart above the right one and a devil heart above the left. Her tits were perfectly round and buoyant, like snow globes that had never been shaken.

You asked me how the wedding went but I didn’t tell you any of this because I was thinking about your skylit eyes and ecstatic mouth.

Polyamory is still so strange to me. Most days it sits like a fist against my spine. I don’t think I’ll ever get it right.

Most days I don’t care as long as we can feel like this forever and I can hold the memory of you in my palm like a planet that is small and warm and impossibly turning and creating you endlessly from the marrow of dreams.

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