Anaïs and Henry
Inspired by Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller
What is this black silk across my eyes, my love, and why does it obscure you
from my sight? In the dark of my moonless night
I reach across the vastness of our bed — no white linen in a Paris loft,
but an expanse of land, a nation of quiet, that steals your hands
From their nest between my thighs; I long for you beside me, inside me,
To hasten me to joy again, for those small deaths to overcome my last,
For your rough words of wanting whispered in my ears, for my eyes to
See you evermore, for your whisky breath to ignite and light me afire
For the winds of hyacinth within me to breathe spring into your December
And for your ever-seeking tongue to bathe me with its oils and find me open,
Open everywhere, every way to you, my love, upon heights where we both
Tremble, rising until we fall, and falling until together we are morning again.
Close your eyelids, Anaïs, so that your eyes may be opened, so I may kiss,
your lips soaked red from wine, and trace with my hands the molding of your breasts.
I want the oceans of life to pour from you again; I want you to embrace the arteries
fed by my blood, that once wound as a vine around you. If you would see my face,
think only of the man for whom your words were rain to a drought meadow, and
remember how we bruised each other with passion, my teeth hungering for
your pulsing throat, your fingers tearing my red flesh as if to open an apple.
And then, tender and lacerated, we would laugh at the passersby in the street,
for they were ludicrous — dressed in clothes, while we were naked, dressed
in one another. Do you recall how our thoughts spilled into each other,
every word of mine forming inside your mind before it left my mouth?
How you, drunk on absinthe, spoke to me from the caves of your dreams,
Your sleeping face pressed against my ear, a penitent confessing your sins,
While I murmured my love for you, absolving you, admitting my indiscretions,
While knowing you could not hear me as I heard you. Love, hear me now.
The moment of your words has awakened my vision, the black silk has fallen,
And perfectly I can see your imperfect face as a sculpture before my eyes;
Henry, let me now caress the scars I drew upon your canvas, let me press those ribs,
Feel your very bones, and drink into my mouth the milk of your marrow;
Love me once again as these men and women, once unborn, now love one another
For whatever mortal lovers form in spirit will in death become its substance,
The memory of you has become a reflection, and the reflection has become you.
Where once I could only remember you in the black galleys of my words,
Now I can remember your beauty with my eyes, I can recall your hair with my hands,
Let me burn you with my desire, love, and let me be wax consumed by your flame,
For now we have been resurrected by the morning we once shunned. In your embrace,
I should seek your breath, which has travelled across your heart, and between your lips,
so that before it dissipates in the wind, I can breathe you in again.