The Slow Mash


She became mindful all at once in his arms. Drawing in a breath, maybe the first real one in hours, she let him guide her around the creaky, sticky dance floor. His voice rumbled through her as he hummed along softly. The sax was done wailing for now and the piano and bass talked to each other. Her hand slid behind his neck as his found rest at her lower back. Pulled closer, her head found rest against his chest.

She wanted to look at him but wouldn’t break this embrace. This dance was their first touch. They had talked, laughed, shared side by side but somewhere they picked up tendrils of something more. Picking at threads of possibility, tonight was a beginning.

Thank God jazz songs can go on forever, she thought. Their conversation at dinner had been rollicking fun. Their evening walk to this club felt sparkling. But this dance was … perfect.

She was disheveled, but when he looked at her she felt like a goddess. He looked like the most delicious sin. Any other thought, past or future, was peripheral to this moment. No matter what, she would carry this memory as a precious gem forever. This night, this dance, this moment.

She was smart enough to understand this was the most she could hope for. Whether they parted tomorrow or rode off into the night as partners for the rest of their lives, moments of perfection are fleeting. They just might venture to physical heights previously unknown to them. But those moments are not meant to be sustained either.

Quelling all busy thoughts, she breathed him in again. He smelled of scotch, bar smoke, and soap. She tested a patch of skin at his neck with her tongue. Salty and rough. He squeezed her hip and she finally pulled back to look at him. They stood staring for what felt like days. Reading eyes. Clenching fingers. Music slowing to a fade for them. Without a word, they moved together.

A Few Handfuls of Days


And on the 19th day, she wept
Not for joy or anguish
but for the myriad emotions
swirling in her core

Barely a month ago it had begun
Then she found herself at sea
and strangely at ease
amid possibility

Newness holds promise
For there is no taint yet
to mar the smooth edges
or show any wear

She felt every crease in her being
Saw the roughness of her exterior
felt the stain deep inside
while plastering over it all with fakery

There are no steel coverings
To hide some hurts
renovating only helps
when it lies close to the surface

Only a few handfuls of days
Held the story of them
from glow to burnout
so why so much pain

When an idea takes root
And is stronger than memory
the gaping whole
is poignant for its brevity

Imagination improves on memory
Memory gets clouded by time
time heals many wounds
but it all still remains somewhere

She felt bereft
Yet was glad for the 19 days
she would keep that time close
tucked away in her mind

Last Gasps of Summer


Lay me down on the cool moss
Near the sparkling swift water
In the dappled warm sunlight
Where we can breathe deeply
The last gasps of summer.

No season can compare
To this that brings our skin so close
And the birds visit from the heavens
Just to share in the pure joy
Of us.

Now we can sweetly rest
With only the sun to guide
Until the moon takes our hands
And we continue on our path
Together in the open night.

With Eyes Closed

the possibilities are too amazing
too numerous
to mention here
is granted
is understood
the promise of summer
with its shedding of layers
down to skin
the heat and wonder
familiar tale
old as the hills
still surprising
moving quickly
scenery rushing past
like cool water
hair pushed back
by the wind
anything could be coming
lying on the path
begging to be part
the journey
from still thought
to terrific turbulence
the ride of their lives
gloriously taken
with eyes closed


The thinly veiled anger was quickly turning into a want unlike any other
He could taste her from across the room
Knew exactly how her favorite spot behind her ear would smell
Berries and leather

He tried to turn away but found he could not
He could only look on as she navigated the thirsty throngs
They seemed to sense her sweetness

He felt his foot take a step forward
On its own, with no direction from his head
At least not from the one he needed to use
This was not going to lead anywhere good

But she was getting closer in his sights
Which meant he was still moving
And he could now hear her throaty laugh
As it rippled right up his spine

He may have pushed someone out of the way
As he could not pretend to focus anywhere else
He was a predator
But she was already holding him captive

His heart bounced down to his stomach and back again
As she slowly turned and looked his way
With what kind of look?
He rummaged through his rolodex of her emotions

Was she hopeful and happy to see him
He tried to breathe and feel hope simultaneously
His anger at seeing her without him was dropping away
Like layers of clothes being shed at warp speed

He was completely led by something besides logic
Beyond hurt or history
Taking his final steps to meet her
She smiled and took his hand