afternoon in the bedroom

He sits at the foot of the bed, forearms resting gently on the tops of his knees, hands folded in order to contain what once was

.His gaze is down. The early afternoon sun is wildly flirtatious as it dances around the walls, teasing the darker calm corners. The air is still and full of emptiness.  The clean crisp sheets smoothed under his bare lean thighs are a small luxury that have calmed him on one too many days. He finds himself meditating on the ease at which sweat and lust disappear quickly off the fabric in a rhythmically tumbling machine. If only longing could behave in the same way.  Spring has a way of summoning up his deeply held belief that he’s not fully alive. It’s something about the empty promise the rain makes to the young earth. It’s not as powerful as it claims.

The truth seizes him. The day will unfold as it pleases, whether he chooses to stand up or lay back down. The stillness of the room becomes agitating. It’s too palpable. He recognizes this feeling; it’s the need to move. He unfolds himself as his heels and toes dig into the carpet underneath him. The energy that pooled in the soles of his feet propels him up. His ripe naked body unfolds. He uses both hands to smooth his hair as he inhales. His profound goodness and heat yawn and greet the day. The sun attacks him, creating bands of warmth across his face. His hazel eyes sparkle. He doesn’t notice. Instead he is drawn to the torn wrapper on the floor; the one he thought he threw away. She left late last night, early this morning- he can’t remember what the clock told him. She smelled like cigarettes and a perfume he remembers from somewhere far away. He prefers not to think about her face. It’s too pure an object for such a day. He’s suddenly pleased as he recalls he took her from behind. He can revel in the memory of her without thinking about her face-she’s more appealing when her soul is hidden.

He slides into his clothes almost mechanically. They feel good against his skin and remind him that he is alive. His breathing heavies as he hears his phone ring. He can’t talk today. He can’t and he must. The phone proves to be merciless. He inches toward it and stares at the glowing green screen. It’s her. He’ll say he fell asleep early. He thinks of her smile and hears her laugh. He closes his eyes. The day has begun.


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