Last night, you told me that prosody was my strong suit and drew a heart in black ink on my shoulder with your good pen before handing it to me so I could write. I wanted to write something. I did. You were lying next to me reading your novel, and I could feel your presence. Felt that familiar deep ache, salient to everything, that arresting surge that leaves me breathless in hallways when I’m glad I’m alone so I won’t have to explain to anyone the look on my face, won’t have to encapsulate the way we bite and scratch each other in the dark, and I find my face burning, my breasts, my thighs – all of it burning for hours. I felt it effortlessly with you there, your attention focused on something else. I needed you in that moment. I touched you lightly, even felt you shudder but withdrew my hand, flopped onto my belly, skimmed some Rimbaud, wrote fitfully, worked out some edits, toyed with a crossword, studied sales flyers. Finally I slid my accoutrements off the bed, pulled the light blanket around me, rolled away from you.
Opened my eyes an indeterminate time later when I felt your hands on me with raw desperation and knew that you needed me just as badly.
This morning in the shower, I washed off that heart you drew on my shoulder, but somehow I can still feel it there.