Darling, I feel like Annabel Lee a bit this evening, in my kingdom by the sea, as a strong breeze blows through the house, all around this sailing ship, flapping the sails - or curtains in the other room - and sounding through the shimmering leaves on the trees, all wh cz sz sounds, as in the Polish language, full of such sounds, as if reflective of the country's sylvan geography, someone - my uncle perhaps - once told me.
If you were here, my love, I would place my hands around your face and kiss your beautiful soft lips just so. And you might remark that I smell really nice, which I do, a single droplet of Miss Dior gently spritzed on my left wrist spread via rubbing & dabbing about various Vitruvian points about my body (back of ears, crease of elbow, back of knee) lingers, mellowed as the day's gone by, and combining with my inherent scent (full of ł ś ć and ż sounds, shhh kochanie) and with the air softly gently moving through the aerie about me now even as I type I catch just the barest hint of rich evocative mysterious fragrance.
Dearest, at one point this afternoon I was lying back in a rowboat, we had the still vast waters to ourselves, gray, cool, and rippling. No one else was about, just the hot sun overhead, tempered by cool sea breezes about us, and we were in the middle of whatever sea it was we were in the middle of - or perhaps a lake - safely sheltered, enclosed by a rim of tall encircling woods, and so we felt safe, and secure, and by ourselves, and still, and unhurried, because it was in the middle sometime, who knows when, of a long vast timeless afternoon, no one needing anything from us, no one looking for us, and so there we were. You had rowed us out to the middle of this lapping central nowhere and I sat behind you, perhaps fixing us lunch, camembert and cherry tomato pressed with my fingers between a wedge of baguette, and I hand it around to you, my dearest oarsman with the jaunty hat, and as I hand it to you my torso moves forward, in synch with the steady motion of the rowboat, no rocking, and I gently press against your back and kiss the back of your neck and nibble your ear and hand you the little sandwich, a cheese melt of loving fingers and hot sun and sea air that always makes everything taste - kisses, cheese, rustic bread - sublime on earth - and here divine.
And so we row out to the middle of the river, sea, or lake, the kingdom far far away, and we're entirely on our own with no one looking down - no air traffic, it's a timeless place & time that way - and no other boats, it's just - I don't know - it's a funny thing about that kingdom by the sea - it is ours alone, the riparian rights seem to include the entire lake, my darling -
and so - well I was getting hot and you weren't looking anyway because you were smoothly steering us to the middle of those gently sounding lapping cool waters into which I trail my fingers and watch the motion of the oar you wield dipping in and out, in and out, and so I popped my top and then my bottoms too (pretty pink leotard and filmy skirt) and your rowing is so expert that there isn't a trace of dampness in the boat, and so I lie back in the woodenness of the small handbuilt vessel, and look up at the sky, the clouds meandering through the heavens, a bird streaking by, the sight of your beautiful back... And you've had enough of rowing, besides we're not headed to any destination except for right here and here we are and so you secure the oars, and you leave on your hat because you don't want a sunburn like you had that time, and you take off your crisp shirt and all I see is your beautiful golden unbelievable smooth wonderful torso approaching my greedy eyes, and remember those raspberries that grow wild in my garden that I mentioned the other day, our mutual nibbles and delectations are as incredible and rare and natural and sweet as that and precisely in that "simile" of form (here as I steal a berry, a kiss, a wanton nibble, here too I steal a word)... oh but darling I am back in the boat with you sweetheart, the two of us in the bottom of this ingeniously comfortable wood rowboat, miraculously dry along its length, and miraculously cushioned so that it's not like being at the bottom of an old hard boat, but rather floating on top of a cloud overhead - which perhaps we are, because after all there is all that vast depth of ocean beneath us, supporting us from below and holding us aloft, offered up to the clean air and sweet sky
but it's not the sky I see
though it's part of it
it's quite something to be lying back at the bottom
of a little wood boat
savoring flickering sensations of the vision of your beautiful face descending down on mine
the lapping of the waters
my raspberries hardening in your mouth
I take the helm and guide you in
your amazing perfect torso slim hips
the sword I once saw you wear
the little boat embraces us
rocks on the waters
tips back and forth gently
no one would ever see
it's just an empty boat, seemingly, rocking on the waves
the couple has retreated beneath
to devour, embrace, connect, unite
if that little boat bursts into flames
which it won't
I wouldn't be surprised
but no - the boat's the grate
the two of us rowing out, clothed, fledgling kindling
logs ablaze now
Winslow Homer (1836-1910), Hudson River, Logging, 1892, watercolor and pencil, 14 x 20 5/8 in., Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.