The title is technically a fib; I finished the poem a few hours after I’d arrived. It had a strange origin. I’d been dreaming for about a month of a man whose face I never entirely saw; even his basic shape was vague, or I forgot it when I woke. What I remembered was the feeling — very sexually charged, intimate, and laced with desire running both directions. I came across a writing prompt to write a rimas dissolutas, a form I’d never encountered before, and it opened the lid on all the things the dreams had been churning up.
I recognized Tam the moment I met him. It didn’t work out very well for us the first time, but the dreams left me in peace — for a while, at least — and I had a new sense of the strength of my intuition.
Rimas Dissolutas Before Moving Overseas
Our two spirits, through the senses, touch and feel — Billy Thorpe
She closes her eyes and summons him,
The man she has yet to meet,
And who may not even exist.
Even so, he’s there when she calls.
Smiling, bearded, blue-eyed,
He moves like a dancer and kisses like a rogue.
Even to his unseen poet, his image is dim.
He’s a scent of calligraphy ink, a sense of heat,
Clever fingers closing around her wrist
Catching her as she stumbles, sparing her a fall,
A weight on a too-narrow mattress at her side,
A whispered burr of dirty words in a caress of brogue.
She wonders how he knows her — as a rhythm?
The clenches and flutters of coming, a heartbeat?
Palms that glide over his aches like mist?
A Southern drawl, incomprehensible mais chers and y’alls?
The song of a flycatcher at dusk as it darts across a woodland ride?
Or nothing she herself can name, a thing that he desires in his own code?
She doesn’t know. She does know that he will taste of desirable sins —
Salt and smoke and Meyer lemons and caramel-sweet
Blooming on her tongue like a tissue flower in water, just
Beyond her range of knowing and naming them all,
Nothing left out, nothing forbidden, nothing denied
Any longer, only the man she summons and the response he evokes.