Wish List

(for Drew)

I want you breathing and near,
You yourself bared to me as my hands
Glide over buttons and zippers.
I want the way we entangle and
Rewrite our anatomy, laughter,
Fingers in my back, Pad Thai in bed.

We sit, fingers interlaced, in a world illuminated in white.
Bold summer gulls toddle closer, waiting for a handout
From under their executioners’ hoods. You point to
A white head in the crowd, grain of salt in a pepper-pot,
Out of season and hanging back. Smiling, you toss him
The last of your bread crust.

The waves are the ocean’s orgasms,
White spume spreading over the sand.
But I don’t need the ocean to tell me
How to love you, or symbols
To tuck between us like a bundling board.
I want to lick salt from your skin,
Taste the flesh and reality of you,
Ride you like a wave as you mutter
Oaths in other vernaculars
And reach for my arms to pull me under.

The gulls rise in unison, circle in formation, startled by you
Laughing at the ocean and your new image of it as horny.
It must be a woman, you whisper, to be able to come
Over and over like that.

I want to make love with you
In this month’s hurricane as
It rolls onto shore twenty miles away:
Hide in the false dusk of the oncoming storm,
Let the rain spray through the open window
And strike our bodies in cool speckles.
I want to be your woman, your lover, your
Drinking buddy, your wife, and the clerk
You paid for the day-old bread —
All at once, all in me, all swirled by the wind,
A lifetime’s tastes for your tongue to unravel.

The gulls are calling, one to the next, as they make their elegant way inland.
People are scattering as well. It’s going to rain soon, the smell of metal
Mingling with the smell of salt that makes the air weighable in pounds.
You take my hand again, brush sand from my thigh as you bend to kiss me.
I shake my head when you nod toward the parking lot and the car’s shelter,
And pray for rain.

(2012)

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