Fire Tongue

Earth. Earth and dirt, the smell of sex and blood, the grin of hunting and fighting and joy beneath the sky. The beating heart and the shimmering skin of sweat, rough hands and rougher tongue against me.

I wonder, sometimes, what he thinks. Other times I know and laugh at his complexity, his simplicity, his demand for being heard and the constant why. Whywhywh—barely time for a breath and a response, even as he stares and waits, quivering with questions and curiosity and insistent need for more. Always more, always building. Building, wondering, wanting to understand the incredible layers of our strange cultures and customs and government and humanity. What does humanity mean? Why are we sexist? Are we sexist? How do we fix it? Always, why, how, doing, wondering, insisting, laughing, thinking. Always thinking, always.

I forget to breathe, sometimes, around him, for the laughter and the speed of thought, faster than the light surrounding us, the quiet, setting sun of a beautiful day, beautiful lake, beautiful boat, beautiful war of a friendship that shouts and demands why.

It’s exhausting.

I laugh, thinking I would die if I saw him every day. It isn’t a romantic comedy, but maybe we’re a bromance or a weird friendship documentary on the nuance of brains.

I shake my head and watch the sunset, attempting to refocus on the conversation. The mountains listen and the water laps against our boat, the cold of a beer against my hands and lips, my eyes watching him and the dimming sunshine, the approaching dusk, the midnight blues and forever array of colors. I listen and wonder. Why? Why do we think this way? Why am I polite or insistent or submissive or curious or avoidant? Why do we do anything?

Burn everything and reassess. Lash the world with our mouths and minds and see what weaknesses we find, what weird holes, what unexpected gaps. I look at him and smile, delighted. What will he say next? The sun sets and I listen, curiously processing his berating words from the past hour.

Geopolitics to tennis, sports to sexism, workplace dynamics to the power of capitalism. I shake my head and sip my beer, arranging my thoughts into something vaguely well structured.


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