I’m sitting at dusk on a hill overlooking the valley. The wind has calmed. Occasionally, a gust brushes the leaves of the tree above me, softly rustling them until it lowers to a breeze. The yellows are bleeding into oranges and reds, until the sun slips behind a cloud on the horizon and the eastern black skies encroach like fingers spreading out and dousing flickers of remaining light. All is still. The night creatures have yet to make a sound as I sit waiting. I close my eyes to listen for the first notes of evening and only hear your soft footfalls on the grass.

You stop directly behind me and kneel down, placing your hands on each side of the back of my neck. I reach back with my hands and place them over yours. Yours slip underneath mine and move down my shoulders, my arms. You sit, placing your legs on each side of me and you move your arms to embrace me around my midsection. You find a comfortable place to nuzzle me on the right side of my neck and face. You tilt your head slightly to give me a kiss on the neck. With your lips you massage the entire right side of my neck. You pause and lift your head to watch the beginning of the night with me.


I’m lying on a blanket in the apple orchard in spring. I peer up through the boughs laden with blossoms and humming bees to see endless blue, no cloud in sight. The warm sun filters through the branches, hitting my face. With the shift of wind the shadowy patches illuminate and fire up my chilled skin. I smells grass and mud. The garden is just a short walk away. My eyelids fall and drowsiness sets in.
A bird is disturbed in a nearby tree, chattering as it flies off. I know you’ve come. A twig cracks under a footfall and you’re near. The blanket pulls and you lie down next to me. I know you see what I saw just moments before: the colorful latticework of branches and blue sky. You sigh and slowly inhale, exhale. You turn on your side to me, and I roll over to face you.
You smile. You lean in and softly kiss me, putting your hand on my cheek and holding back the wayward strands of my hair that are swirling with the light breeze. I am kissing you and you me, an intimate dialogue in a language we alone understand right now at this moment under this tree.


I’ve been walking for a while. My muscles are sore to the point I’m going to need to stop somewhere and rest. I didn’t bring anything with me to be able to sit on. The sand and sparce vegetation are still wet from an overnight rain. My feet are wet from moisture seeping through my tennis shoes.
I climb up a dune and through some tall grass. I see a fallen tree trunk which will be a perfect place to sit. As I get closer, the shadows of predawn are lifting with the rising sun. The veil of shade around a nearby tree is lifted and I see you in profile leaning up against it.
I bypass the fallen tree an head straight for you. When I reach you, I stand over you and look down. Your head is downcast, your arms on your knees. You are holding a small wooden figurine. Twirling it in your fingers, stroking the edges.
“I’ve been looking for you.”
You gaze up at me and say, “I needed some time alone.”
“You want to talk?”
You shake your head “no.”
I find a spot around the tree and lean back.
“Okay. I’ll just be with you.”
We sit there together in silence experiencing the sunrise and all that comes with it as the world wakes up.


It’s pitch black. I look up and see a star-peppered expanse. I know it’d be impossible to count the specks, so I just breathe in the fresh air along with the awe. I look down and thankfully for the full moon now rising I can see the edges of the path. I need to be careful. It runs along the cliff. It is incredibly quiet. I hear the waves wash and run and foam on the rocks below me.
The path leads me to another cliff face. Do I go left or do I go right? Right it is. I lift my left hand up and as I walk my hand trails against the cool rock. The pathway curves to the left and opens up into a clearing. A wooded area to the right and an open field in the center. Farther to the left the path winds along the rock face off into the distance.
I head straight for the clearing. There are wildflowers mixed in with the tall grass. I raise my arms and let my hands fly over the tips of grass and blossoms as I trudge through, making a path of my own. After a minute, I notice in the field a depression. I realize you’ve created a haven. Stretched out on your back, you peer up at the sparkling pinpricked dome.
“May I join you?”
“Of course.”
I lie down next to you, and you shift slightly to the edge of the sheet to make room. I reach out over you to show you a flower I picked for you on my way. You can’t see its color, but to thank me you gently grab my wrist, bring it to your mouth and give the back of my hand a kiss.

I awaken under the thin sheet, but curled up into you I am warm. We must have fallen asleep in this haven, tall grass all around us. I kiss your neck good morning, and you hum.
“Good morning.”
I love waking up like this. I have my right arm draped over you. You pull me on top of you. My heart beats synced with yours. I can feel it. I can both smell the grass of the field and you. I angle my mouth to kiss the left side of your neck. With just the tip of my tongue I taste you and gently kiss the same spot. I roll off your other side, and on my back I peer up into the dawn sky. You take my right hand in your left, and together we breathe in the morning air, so crisp.


In our nest of blankets and pillows we drift in the small boat on the calm lake waters. Every once in a while we can hear the CURPLOOK of a fish jumping to catch an insect that was skimming the surface of the water.
“Do you hear that? In the distance?”
A loon’s call.
We’re now caught in a patch of lilypads. We’re in a cove and the trees on shore are just tall enough that they shelter us from the burning heat of the midday sun.
You tickle the pad on my foot. I twitch and chuckle.
“Careful. I know your weak spots, too.”
I grab your ankle and massage that outer bump with my thumb. Back and forth. Our hearts swell in the peace of the cove.


The whisper of the pines high above rises and falls with the strength of the wind. The scent of fresh and dried needles comes and goes as I walk on this rutted forest path. The natural silence is amazing. No cars, no motors, no doors opening and closing, no airplane engines. Just the occasional caw of a crow and vibrating call of insects. Every direction I look I see mountains. I’m on my way to the lake. The foliage is getting dense and as I turn the bend I run straight into you.
I don’t fall, and you steady me by giving me a quick hug then releasing me when you realize I won’t fall.
“Hey you.”
You change direction and walk next to me on the trail. We reach the water’s edge and stare out over the stillness, noticing the reflection of the mountains on the surface. You bring me close, putting your hand around my waist, turning me into you. You enclose me with your arms, and I rest my hands on your chest. You angle your head down and I tilt my head up. We kiss, first slow but soon emotions heat and we are lost — our passion moving us.
The stillness of the lake forgotten.


I knew a storm was coming. The darkness was encroaching in on the blue canopy, but even more telling was the cool breeze that swept in to invade the warmer air. The hint of moisture came to my nostrils. The almost imperceptible electric excitement in the air. Ah, then I hear it: the far-off rumble. In their crazed frenzy, the flies and mosquitoes sting away before they can no longer stay out in the open. The animals are alert and start to head for shelter. Me? I’m drawn outdoors.
I close my eyes and feel the energy coming to me like a magnet. I open my eyes and see a flash and bolt of lightning spark and retreat back into the heavens.
I look up and see clouds like mists mingling, swirling. A hole in this miasma is open and I peer up into the blue sky. Slowly, it shutters like a lens on a camera, the storm clouds closing it.
You embrace me from behind, the only part of us not in contact are our heads gazing up into the vortex. We imagine the rapture, being pulled off the ground, gravity having no hold on us any longer. We drift upwards with the air currents. I hold onto your arms that are wrapped around my torso. We surge through the cloudy whirlpool and slow once above the storm waves. I lean back into you and you lean into me, sharing this moment and space that no one else has or ever will.


I had been biking for half an hour to reach the hilly countryside that overlooked my favorite valley. I climb the steep incline, my breaths increasing the closer I get to the crest, pulling in the cool air. Once at the top, I trudge through the long grass to the copse of trees and shrubs.
You are waiting for me, smiling at me the entire time I approach. Your silent appraisal has me wondering what you are thinking, what you have planned. Once I reach you, I smile down into your face and turn to look out over the elevated expanse: rolling fields, a patchwork of earthen colors for each crop.
I breathe in the dry, grassy scent that has followed me after my short trek. I step in front of you, crouch down and sit. I lean back into you and you bring your arms around me, hugging me. I rest the back of my head on your left shoulder and you touch your lips underneath the shell of my ear. The cool breeze picks up and chills my body, but that spot where you kiss me warms me to my heart.


The midday sun was so bright I was squinting even behind my sunglasses. The dry, prairie groundcover crunched under my tread. Occasionally a patch of earth was exposed, cracked open, and peering down into the mini crevices I could not see bottom. Every ten minutes of the walk I’d need to put chapstick on, take a swig of water so I’d not become as parched as the drought-stricken land.

In the distance I see rock formations that at different parts of the day change colors like a chameleon depending on how the light danced on the different shades of rock and centuries of sediment. I’m almost to the small stream. You are there with the horses. I’m returning to the campsite after having spent the morning walking to see the sunrise and back. You slept in. I take another drink of water and cap the bottle and return it to my backpack.

As I walk up to you, you shift your view from the creek to me. I don’t stop. I come to you, drop my bag, grab your face and kiss you. My mouth still wet from my last refreshment, your mouth minty fresh. You must have just finished getting ready. You pull me close and your left hand caresses up my side into my hairline. You tilt my head and open my mouth more. Our tongues dancing, our hearts racing.


I smell the cedar, the wet boggy marsh that is right below my shoes. I balance precariously on elevated roots and fallen trees. One slip and I’m a stinky mess. I move forward, teetering on the brink. In some areas it is as dark as dusk, shadows ruling. The sun pierces through the canopy in other spots, illuminating the lush greens of every hue. I try not to think too much about how I’m lost. The woods will surely end at some point. They cannot go on forever.

I stop stumbling and stand still, taking in my surroundings. There you are. Half in the light, half out. I map out my steps to you. Then, I’m hop, skipping and jumping my way to you. You’re leaning against a solid tree. And you’re just watching me, smiling.

One foot slips and my shoe and sock are now soaked. I squish every other pace. As you listen to my approach, your smile increases and humor lights up your eyes. I step in front of you, get right up into your face, extend my arms up over your shoulders, my heads flat against the rough bark, and I kiss your smiling mouth.

We laugh and I inhale your chuckle. You place your hands on my hips and I move my hands to your shoulders for support. As your kiss gets more serious, we lose our lighthearted smiles, but each of us is still burning bright.


Lazily, my innertube twirls in the gentle current. I look up and I see a tangle of branches and leaves of different sizes and shapes, different shades of green. I dangle my feet in the water, letting the streams sift over and through my toes.
I look over and you have closed your eyes, letting the river take you wherever it pleases. I paddle over to you and grab onto the side of your innertube. You give me a subtle smile, keeping your eyes closed. In an instant you could be capsized.
“Don’t even think about it.”
“I know exactly what you could do.”
“But I won’t.”
“Ah hah.”
We drift over to a little inlet. There’s a mud path that leads up a hill from shore. Others must have visited this spot before. We hop off our innertubes and push them and hurl them to shore. I start wading to get out, but you grab around my waist and pull me back in.
“What are you doing?”
And you turn me around and draw me right up against you. You grab the sides of my neck with your wet, dripping hands and kiss me as if you were underwater. No breath, just pressure and motion. I come up for air and you kiss the side of my neck and I grab the back of your head with the palm of my left hand. And there we stand, sliding all over each other.


I smell the dry hay all around me, it prickles through the blanket I’m lying on. My hands are my pillow behind my head. I hear the mewling of the newborn kittens for their mother in the loft. I already checked on them. They are poofs of fur with little eyes that have yet to open. They stumble and lunge around, snuggling up close to their siblings and then doze.

The heat of the day is lessening just a bit in the old barn. A tear of sweat dribbles down the side of my head. I hear you climbing over the top of the row of hay and into the little niche I’ve made for us. The crunching and creaking of dry hay announces your arrival.

You kneel down in between my bent knees. You place your hands on either side of my bent arms. You lean over and kiss my forehead, my nose, my mouth. You linger there, whispering your lips back and forth across mine. Slowly, you increase the pressure, our mouths dance, our tongues entwine.

You lean more into me and I cradle you. I move my hands from behind my head and place them on your cheeks. I slide them down, caressing your neck. My hands explore your shoulders. You move your hands and they tilt my head. You shift your body and mine follows. We move onto our sides and stop kissing. We look into each other’s eyes and we don’t need to look at our mouths — just our eyes tell us the other is smiling.

Snow Tunnel

My nose is so cold it’s running–so attractive. The only part of my face, save my forehead, that’s peeking out behind the swaddling layers of scarves, hood, hat and earmuffs. I’m out here tunneling through the snowdrift, trying to relive my childhood. I’m almost done with the tunnel and small cave, all the while wondering if this was a bad idea. This huge snowdrift may collapse over me. How I survived to my teens amazes me. I push away that thought and scrape away the last of the snow from the walls and ceiling. That sound–like styrofoam rubbing together.

I scoot back out with my load of snow and shove it to the side. You grab my feet and pull me into the snow bank, my scarf shifting over my eyes. You roll me over and pull down my scarf, touching your cold nose with mine.

“Are you done yet?”

“Yes, I did all the grunt work while you were away. Do you want to see my handiwork?”

Of course, you let ladies go first. I think, not all courtesy…that. Although, not much to see as padded up I am with long underwear and snow gear. I curl against the far wall, the space allowing just enough room for two. You curl against the opposite side.


The sound immediately quieted by the snow cave. No echo in here. You inch closer to me and we are face to face. You take off your right glove and find my face under the layers, your fingers and hand still warm. You rub my cheek, outline the edge of my eye and eyebrow, reach further to caress my earlobe.

I lean into you and kiss your nose, I pull down your scarf and find your lips, as if I were uncovering them for the first time like a great discovery. I place my lips over yours, mine already chilled by the icy interior. We warm them up soon enough, our breaths steaming up this tiny cavern.


The shushing of the gentle waves churning against the sandy shoreline are a soothing white noise to my ears as I hover between sleep and awake on my beach towel. During a swell of sound I feel your lips brush against mine and I smile against your smile. You crawl over me and deepen the kiss just enough for me to lose myself in the sensation–all noise, scent, taste disintegrates and all there is is you.

The subtle sound of your clothing as it shifts as you move one hand to caress the left side of my face-the tiny grains of sand on your hand exfoliating my cheek as you gently trace it. The scent of the soap you used to shower races down my nostrils and into my lungs like a breath of fresh air and the lingering mint of toothpaste or gum rubs against my tongue as yours twists and glides against mine.

I raise my hands up to frame your face and look right in your eyes. I see pure pleasure: I see my happiness reflected back into my eyes.


I hadn’t been in the city for thirteen years but walking down the street to the café felt oddly familiar. Like I had strolled down this sidewalk before, catching glimpses of memories reflecting off storefront windows. The scents of a city don’t ever seem to change much no matter the passage of time. I could not linger at any one storefront to gaze at window displays because the bitter winter air was already numbing my nose, the tendrils of cold already filtering in through the weave of my gloves. I walked on, checking the addresses to gauge how much farther I had to walk. I remember the address but knew I’d check my maps app on my smartphone the closer I got to my destination just to be sure I wasn’t way off track. The honks of cars, the white noise of bangs and clacks and pounding all meshed together as the song of the city continued to play its daytime tunes. A block away. Time to check the map. There I was — that pulsing dot–similar to the heartbeat of my increasing nervousness. There was the coffeeshop on the map and I look up and down the street ahead. No sign standing out, but it was there.

I had been over possible scenarios a thousand times, my head whirring with all the variations of those first sentences of greeting. And really, why was I nervous? This was a person with whom I already had hundreds of conversations, spanning months, topics ranging from simple, funny to controversial. That gave me a little courage, lifted my spirits, and I heard
“It’s going to be okay.”
“Of course it’ll be okay…as long as I make it there.”
“Why would you not get here? You are so close.”

And my thoughts sped through all the unlikely possibilities. Still so much unknown. Like when we talked so our ears could hear, would we still be conversing on the side in that mindspace we had been shaping? Or would our inner voices be quieted by those projected by our vocal chords? The only way to find out was to keep walking forward one foot in front of the other to… and I was there.

The sign of the coffee shop printed on the door’s window. As I pulled open the door, the handle’s chill pressing in on my gloved hand, I imagined myself walking through a portal, one of the many tunnels we all have traversed in our daily lives. That goal was somewhere sitting in the coffee shop, time slowed as I was crossing the threshold–all the struggles, all the pain, all the problems we had faced–gone in an instant.
And I was inside the shop. A quick breeze of cold slipping through the closing door, and the outside now muted as the door shut. I walked slowly into the entryway almost too scared to look around. I needed to control my emotions. With all the haywire sensations and thoughts these past months I needed to calm myself.

I pulled strength from the knowledge that this man wouldn’t care whatever happened to slip past to show on my face–a smile would be better, but I know I was a hug away if I needed him to soothe me. And I didn’t care anymore how I would appear to him or anyone else in that coffee shop. We had waited too long to care. And so naturally I moved my head to the right, and there he was just staring, smiling, waving me over. I smiled back–not beaming, but a subtle “there you are” and in an instant I was calm, in a peaceful bubble. I knew he was making me feel better–that magic reaching me as it had for the long months leading up to this moment. And I thought, and I felt, tremendous love for this man who had helped me through the turmoils–how we each had lifted each other up and carried each other during challenges just like this one. This one, obviously, being no great challenge. This one being a challenge only like any other first encounter: the fear of awkwardness. But the only way to get over the awkwardness was to meet and start talking.

I approach the table and you get up out of your seat not knowing what else to do. I can see you are having trouble deciding how to greet me. I save you the trouble. I smile, extend my hand and say
“Nice to finally meet you.”
“It’s great to meet you as well.”

And we both look into each other’s eyes and smile, excitement lighting them up.
Let the dialogue begin.


The chill of the approaching evening started to creep down to the forest path. Wisps of mist floating like phantoms started to join me as I quickened my pace. I had maybe a half hour more of daylight. The vibrant greens of moss clinging to rock walls and dirt embankments were a carpet as far as my eyes could see. It looked so very green, as if it glowed.
A wall of tree roots climbed the hill, the interlocking curvilinear patterns like the Celtic designs I had seen in the shop in town earlier today. The tangles of branches slowly opened up, the darkness easing as I hurried closer to the edge of the woods.
There you were at the boundary between the trees and the clearing, sitting on a fallen log. Your head bowed looking down at your shoes. You hear the crunch of a dried leaf that I step on and raise your head. Even with the decreased visibility of nightfall you know exactly where I am, looking right into my eyes. My heart lifts, my lungs fill with clean, fresh air.
I leave behind the sense of dread and am pulled toward you, my steps forgotten. Did I float on the mist over to you? I’m right in front of you. You are looking up at me, smiling with tenderness. We need no words. You raise your left hand, taking my right and pull me over to the log.
And I sit next to you, lean into you. I place my head on your shoulder. You wrap your arm around me, drawing me even closer. I needed this. The chill now gone. I sigh and on my exhale I say
“I love you.”
Your response picks up where I left off
“I love you, too.”
Here we sit, listening as the day ends and the soft sounds of night begin.


It was a windy and gray day and walking at the edge of the pond was a bit treacherous, not only due to the uneven ground but the bursts of wind that seemed to come out of nowhere. I was watching where I was going, looking more at my feet for depressions in the ground hidden by dry grass than where I was headed. I reached a part of the pond where cattails impeded my progress, so I looked up and there you were.
Smiling… almost laughing because you know how clumsy I can be. I walk up to you and say
“Hi. So glad you could come and join me on my walk.”
And you say
“I’m glad I could be here today.”
We start walking side by side up the grassy trail away from the pond. We walk in silence for a while watching out for branches, prickly shrubs that reach out into our path, until we reach a bench along the trail. It hasn’t been used in a long time, dry leaves, moss and debris like dust on its surface. I brush it off and we sit down. I look up, breathe in and check out the treetops, slowly being stripped of their leaves.
You say my name.
Still looking up, I respond,
“So, where are we headed?”
I come back down from the treetops and turn my head to face you, looking into your eyes.
“Where do you want to go?”
I smile, then my smile fading to a thoughtful gaze. I slide over to you, angle my head, rest it on your shoulder, my hair suddenly flying towards you, a few wisps hitting your face. With my right hand, I pull back my hair on my right side and tuck it behind my ear. With my left hand I grab your hand, interlacing my fingers with yours. I bring your hand up to my lips and I kiss the back of your hand. I turn slightly and reach for your face, gently pulling you towards me, and I smile subtly.
I see you…where you want to go…right now…and I show you where I want to go…
I lean in and kiss you. Our lips merely touching. I smile with your lips touching, caressing. I look into your eyes and then my eyelids close, and I see where we go.


I hadn’t been to Uxmal in twenty five years. I looked for iguanas, but there were none to be seen like the one I had passed in a tree so many years ago on the trek to the main temple. Each step along the way gave hints of how this place looked. Now, just stones here and there, mounds overgrown with brush that may at a later date tell more of this city’s story.
Now, unlike before, I walked along, noticing man-made contours and shapes that I may have noticed on my previous trip but long-forgotten.
I get to the Pyramid of the Magician and decide to take a walk down memory lane. Or should I say, retrace my steps. As my eyes follow the steep staircase upwards, my mind takes me back into the heart of another pyramid on the Yucatan, El Castillo.

The walls are still slick with humidity, the air thick with a moist, old stone smell. Sounds are muffled in this enclosed space. Light is very limited. I carefully start to climb the steps, which are as wet as the walls. As I near the top of the stairs, the altar gradually comes into view, exactly how I remember it. Chaac, the rain god, awaiting his sacrifice, and the red jaguar in the back room looking on, the stone sculpture’s edges worn with time.
I try not to imagine what use they served, but immediately visualize the dark hues of stone reddening, dripping, streaming with sacrificial blood. I quickly look away and gasp.
Just to my left you are there, just waiting there half in shadows, half in the muted light of the chamber’s artificial lighting.
So serious, as if you, too, had been contemplating the history of this place. Your expression, so at odds with how I normally see you. You are usually so playful, so sly. I need to always be on my guard around you. You tend to surprise me with the unexpected. Just like now.
You walk over to me, put your hands on each side of my face. The scene around us fades and we only see each other. That time long ago forgotten. The happiness in each of our eyes makes us refocus just on each other. The times we’ve spent together. The playfulness is there: a spark in your iris — just there. My humor a burst of blue in my green eyes.
You tilt my head and lean into me. You kiss me so I forget the sadness, the tragedy, and my whole body lights up. A new history for this chamber is written: the pure joy of this moment with you. Your feel, your scent, your light.


I had just sprayed WD-40 onto the chains of my ancient bike, hoping the grit of decades wouldn’t be too much of a problem. Your bike is pretty much in the same shape, an extra bike that had been hanging in my parents’ garage for who knows how long. But I had promised to take you on the roads I frequented. Those roads I knew so well, the sights of the horizon, the rolling hills, farmland, homesteads, places I’d stop to just take in along the way to school or to work and back.
When we first start out our bikes protest, clicking gears catching. We look at each other and laugh. I ask
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
And you say
“Let’s go for it.”
So we head down the country road. We can see miles ahead. We cross the railroad tracks I used to sail over in the Banana Boat.
“Yup, can see you doing that…”
Just after the railroad tracks we see a field of green leafy soy plants.
Our bikes are running more smoothly, and we can ride side by side. No cars in sight for miles ahead or behind us. We pass a small, wooded area, a country ranch-style house with a swingset out front–a covered swinging bench for lazy weekend lounging.
We pass by the woods and back into open countryside, the warm sun on our faces, a slight breeze keeping us cool. I breathe in the fresh… ew!…manure smell. Yup, there’s the large farm with pigs and cows. After I look over at you and see the expression on your face, I start laughing hysterically, tears rolling out of my eyes.
“Really? You brought me here?”
“Yup. Had to give you the full effect.”
We quicken our pace. You now are breathing hard through your mouth until we get past the far enough so you can use your nose again, and we make it far enough, the wind taking away the stench.
At the end of the road we turn right. Up ahead we can see rolling hills–the patterns seen from above now laid out in front of us. The wheat, like water rippling in the gusts of a storm, passing over in sheets on the field. The corn rows so tall, towering over us as we pass by on the road.
We labor up a small hill and at the top I motion us to stop. We pull our bikes off the road, set them in the ditch, and I wave you over to hike up a steeper incline–a grassy knoll. You follow until we reach the top, and then you see: from every direction you can see the surrounding countryside. Miles and miles of farmland, patches of woods, small streams, country roads all the way to the lake to the east. Roads leading all the way to the next small town to the west. Countryside stretching towards a large city to the north, and another to the south.
I sit down in the long grass, looking east, and you settle in next to me, the long grass tickling your skin. You sit close to me, bump my side and say
“Not bad.”
“It’s one of my favorite spots.”
I lie down looking up into the blue sky, a white puff of cloud here and there drifting by. The long grass walling me in so all I can see is you next to me.
You lie down, staring up just where I have, take a deep breath, the dry grass, the slight scent of dirt, the sound of the breeze sifting through the grass. You hum. I say
“Yes, hmm…”
I roll over to you–twice over-up against you and roll on top of you. I pull my hair off to the side. You bring your hands up and comb my hair out, and lift your head up enough. I let my head fall just so… and we kiss. Breathing in our breaths, our tongues getting tangled, our legs interlacing, our bodies aligned, our shapes moulding together.
I bring one of my hands up–my left–and hold the right side of your face, my fingertips massaging your ear, underneath that side of your neck…tracing all the way to where our mouths are connected. I lift my head and trace your upper lip. Just a whisper of a touch along your bottom lip. Then I lean down and kiss that bottom lip I so love with both my lips. Your mouth hanging open, my hand holding your cheek. I look into your eyes and the tenderness there goes straight to my heart. My heart instantly warms.
I forget my body. It just disappears, and I hear my heart beat… or is it yours? I hear your breath, and then the wind picks up, shushing it, reminding us of what surrounds us.
I lay my head on your chest, right over your heart, listening to your heart beat, its rhythm, and the music of nature all around us. Calming me. Relaxing you. And there we stay for a while–still…together.

Around The Bend

The trail is littered with dry leaves, the crispy crunch making my progress loud. As I wind around the park, in dimly lit shaded areas, the mosaic of sunlight filtering through the tree branches, patterning the path with shadow and light, and through more open grassy spanses. I think ahead to our chat. I can see you already in my mind’s eye, waiting for my arrival, looking up from the book you are reading on the park bench… piecing together what you are now reading with parts of other tomes.
I have just a little farther to tread. Just down this hill, around the bend and there is our meeting place — at the edge of the wooded lane, in the sun. As I turn the corner, I see you looking off into the distance in the other direction. You are so lost in thought you do not hear me come up close. You startle a little as I sit down. I smile and see my reflection in your sunglasses. I lift mine, and you do the same… Eye contact. This is what you miss online. That eye communication. So much to be said in just a glance–close up like this.
“So is it good?”
You look momentarily confused…
“The book.”
I glance down…
You let out a small laugh.
I smile.
“You definitely read more than I do… How do you do that?”
“Ha, ha, ha…”
“Anyway, so how do you like this spot?”
“So…” I move closer, lean into you, and bump you…
“…what about those boys?”
“HA, HA, HA…” You let out a hearty laugh.
I laugh through the “I know.”
Only women can understand some things. How our hearts work. How one thought leads to another. How our heart affects our thoughts and vice-versa. How what seems so nonsensical to men makes perfect sense amongst girlfriends. And there we sit, our sides touching. We stare out at the scene ahead of us, seeing past what our eyes can see. Sharing our thoughts, our joys, our passions.


The grass, frosty from the fall of temperatures below freezing overnight crunched under my feet. I turn around and see my footprints fall behind me back to the house, like stepping stones. There’s a chilly mist hovering just above the low-lying areas and the clusters of cattails. My feet breeze through pools of clouds. The large rock close to the water’s edge is where I stop to sit and look out onto the surface of the water, a thin layer of ice making the pond look utterly still, an image frozen in time. I huddle inside my coat, bury my face a little more behind my scarf, my gloved hands I hug under my armpits. I stare out onto the icy water, sometimes focusing on one patch, at other times my sight going unfocused, my eyes as foggy as the mist. My mind is meandering back and forth from the reality I see before me to the one of my imagination. As my heated breath blows out from my scarved mouth, I imagine steam rising from my bath.

I see the still water covered in a film of soap. Any movement I make, a quiet chiming…and then silence. My eyes closed, I soak in relaxation. I hear a shush of clothing, the water moves, laps, and you’re in the bath with me.
“Care if I join you?”
I smile, eyes still closed.
“There’s room for two.”
You move to sit, facing me. You sit straddling me. You put your legs outside mine, and you lift my calves to float over your thighs. The movement creating ripples. I feel the coolness of air run over the parts of my skin that become exposed.
My eyelids lazily open. You’re looking right at me with that subtle smile of yours.
“Temperature okay?”
“Yes, it’s fine… Come here.”
I sit up and water falls off me in streams. I know you want to look down, but your eyes do not stray.
Like a magnet, I’m pulled over to your side in one straight movement, my knees bending and then there is no space between us. Eyes locked, bodies joined. I bring my lips to yours and I slide over you, around you. My arms reaching over your shoulders, up over your head. I hold on. You embrace me, reaching down pulling me into you, onto you, over you. When I breathe, I breathe you in, along with the steam. You keep me warm above water. We’re submerged, overcome by emotion washing over us.

Thoughts float away. A cold wind sends a shiver through me and I breathe in the winter air. My vision refocuses to the frigid scene, and I smile behind my scarf. I let out a puff of warm air as I say



I’m reading a book on a park bench, one of my favorite spots-quiet and secluded. The hustle and bustle of the large city occasionally filters in, but for the most part, it’s muted by the flowering shrubs and trees. I’m so engrossed in the book I’m reading, imagining what’s on the page that I am surprised and gasp when you sit down next to me. I’m usually much more aware of my surroundings, keeping my senses open and attentive even if my focus is elsewhere.
“Ha, ha. Sorry.”
“That’s okay. I just didn’t hear you.”
“Getting a lot of reading done?”
“Want to take a break?” You say with a devilish smile.
“Am I going to be able to get back to reading after this?”
You give me a shoulder shrug and smile. I put my book down and look all around us. We’re under a canopy of vines. If I look carefully, I can see in between the flowery web ahead of us and the surrounding park. I look left — no one. I look right–no one. I haven’t encountered another person all day here except you.
I stand up and stretch, and as I stretch, I look up and through the trellis I can see blue sky. As my hands settle at my sides, I close my eyes–my head still lifted to the sky. I take a deep breath. You reach with your right hand and grasp my left hand, gently tugging me toward you. I turn and stand over you. I smile down at you and look straight in your eyes as I climb onto your lap.
You look a little shocked, but you don’t look away. You hold our stare. My legs dangle out the back of the park bench and I drape my arms over your shoulders. I lean into you and kiss you lightly. You immediately shift your mouth over mine and we open our mouths. Your tongue glides across mine, I embrace yours.
Your hands move up my torso, pause, continue up my front to my neck, softly skating over my skin, a slow constant movement as our mouths work at a different tempo. Other parts of our bodies move very slowly. Our hearts race. I inch closer to you. You angle more into me, and then each part of us moves in sync. I breathe in, you breathe out. I rise, you lower. I push in, you suck. This play of movement continues until I pull back. You try to follow. I push away gently and smile, and you look so serious. You move your hands up to cradle my face and I come back down to meet you again.
We move each other, everything around us still. All I hear are our breaths, the smooth liquidy poetry expressed by the contact made by our mouths, the textile static emitted by our clothing, and the whispered
“I love you.”


The cold and damp from outside started to make its presence known inside the stone cottage as night grew darker. I put a few more logs on the fire, wrapped the thick, soft blanket around me and sat on the rug on the hearth. I’m mesmerized by the coals, how they seem to pulse with life. As quick as the flames wave and jump, the coals beneath slowly glow hotter and then fade cooler.
You kiss my right cheek and sit down next to me. I move over to the left so you can get more warmth from the fire. I pull the right side of the blanket off me and bring it around the right side of you. You pull the blanket close. I lower my arm and hold your right waist. Leaning my head on your left shoulder, I take in the warmth of the fire and the comfort of having you near.
You lovingly have your left arm around me, your hand resting on my belly. Our eyes burn a little as we gaze into the hottest parts of the roaring fire. Each intake of air is smokey, my heart encased with your warmth. Each breath I exhale the cool peace you feel in my presence.
We’re wrapped up into each other, the snap of popping bark a surge in the overwhelming love we share. Our hearts heat. We are too close to stay apart.
At the same moment we turn towards each other and kiss–needing to release some of this pent-up energy.
We must share our care,
exchange our searing sight,
this spicy taste,
our earthy scent.
We can’t seem to stop caressing each other, impulse moves us to feel what we love the most about each other.
Our soft hums and whispered moans we don’t hold back.
Here we flame on the inside, our love consuming us whole.


The humidity of early morning clothed me. The shallow surge and retreat of seawater hushed my barefoot steps in the sand. The still air stirred as I moved into a pool of water and then back onto dry sand, my feet massaged by the grains. I stop by a black rock and take a seat. I hug my knees to my chest and bring them up to my chin as I stare out along the expanse of water to the horizon. I close my eyes and just listen, breathe and feel.
Behind my eyelids I see you in front of me standing, looking at me, wondering what I’m thinking, what I sense. My thoughts have strayed their way to you and my heart in an instant warms, surrounded by your loving caress.
I lift my lids and you are there, just as I imagined. Your voice rises above the breaking waves
“What are you thinking about?”
And that warmth I felt around my heart I see in your eyes and in your smile.


The windchimes ring as a breeze rushes through and around them. I walk past and down the sidewalk. I don’t stop walking until I’m in the middle of the city park. I sit down on a swing for a few minutes and rock back and forth, lifting my legs off the ground. I close my eyes, my face raised to the sun, its warmth covering me like a veil. I stretch my legs out in front of me, lean back and fly, then fall back gliding through the air. The forward and dropping motion like a feather sifting its way through layers of currents. This continuous motion hypnotizes me. On the next swoop up I lift off the swingseat and land, the kinetic force pushing me into my steps toward the river.
A well-worn dirt path trickles down to the edge of the rushing water. I walk alongside the river, the movement slow as a whole, but hurried once I see splashes running over larger rocks. Where the riverbed pushes up creating a shallow path, stepping stones emerge across. The first one is a leap, the second a bound, and I pause teetering, raising my arms out on both sides for balance. I stop and hear the applause of the ripples, the wind like a conductor swirling the leaves overhead to play a little louder. The two ensembles meeting to harmonize after their initial discord.
Having steadied myself, I skip across the rest of the way and make the last jump into soft mud on the other shore. I sink in, the soft earth welcoming me. I pull away, bringing some with me as I head for the large tree that I’ve used as a waypoint. Its age evident by the gnarly knots, its twisting, winding trunk extends into an intricate expanse of branches, which reach high into the forested canopy. The tree has countless ties to this place, deeply rooted alongside the river.
I climb through the web of roots, careful to get a good foothold, a good grasp, my hands clinging to the strongest both to ensure I don’t slip and also not to break off any of the veins that have allowed this tree to thrive all these years.
At the base of the trunk there’s a curve, a perfect seat for me. I curl up in this barky hammock and take a deep breath — leaves soaking in water, living and dried wood, the cool, liquidy scent of the river’s surface.
You’ve taken a different route to this spot, walking in from the other side of the park and through the trail in the woods here on the other side.
Another tree has grown alongside the one in which I recline, its trunk crisscrossing with mine. You lean against your tree, sitting. You first look out at the woods in front of you, but then shift your attention to me, at your right. I smile at you, resting my right cheek against the rough bark.
“Thanks for meeting me.”
“Wouldn’t have missed it.”
“Nice spot, huh?”
I lift my legs and move them over your lap. You rest your arms and hands on top of my legs. Grabbing my ankles, your thumbs massaging them.
The comfort you bring me makes its way to you in my stare.
The softness,
the tenderness,
the peace
that mists through me
has now found its place in you,
as it does me.
We both shut our eyes, but keep our ears open. We let the scents filter in. What we touch and what touches us blurs. The moment relaxes us and we relax into the moment.

Nature's Window

The pebbled path rolls and shifts under my sandals. I slowly walk the grounds, pausing every so often to listen to the interplay of songbirds and buzzing insects, to look at the intersection of lines and curves, admiring the contrasting colors-soft and vibrant, breathing in overpowering scents and subtle fragrances, noticing the flash of texture filling a void, empty spaces winking in between.
I wind my way through the twisting walkway, squinting as I hit patches of brightest light, residual shapes behind my eyelids while in shadows cast by taller shrubbery.
A low stone wall encloses the garden, the rusts, grays and light browns of the rocks and mortar match the palette of the hills that rise into the horizon.
A corner of the wall points out to the hills, into Nature’s Window: two trees’ arching branches frame the countryside beyond.
I sit under one of the trees, my feet rest on the arrowpoint of the wall, tickled by the long grass that arcs up and over. My eyes trace the grooves in the hills, the trail where I’ll soon be.
You take a seat next to me, mirroring my position. Overgrown wildflowers brush your left side.
I grab my knapsack and take out the lunchbag, kept cool by ice packs.
“Want some grapes?”
“Love some.”
I hand over a clump to you. I eat a few grapes, their juicy, refreshing sweetness swishing around in my mouth. While savoring your grapes, I set the sack aside and stand up. You follow my motion with your eyes. You stop midchew.
I step over to you, place my hands on your cheeks, lean down and kiss you. My tongue absorbs the grapes’ tang. Your hands come up, your fingers scraping softly across my temples and into my hair.
I stop, pull back a little and smile slightly.
“Ready for a long walk?”
You don’t answer but draw me back into you, tasting more of me.


The coffeefall into my thermos cup splashes, my special brew firing my senses as I inhale the zingy steam, as I take that first sip, closing my eyes in awakening bliss. This morning would be good enough with just that invigorating liquid, but I open my eyes and the setting in which I start my day is dreamlike.
The jagged rocks on this Phaeacian beach raise me up enough to keep watch over the ancient grove, coraled cove and rough shoreline. What have these rocks seen? Ghostly visions fly through my mind like breaths of air. What storms have the old trees guarding this small beach endured? Who has slept underneath their shelter? How many have bathed in the still water, tiny fish swimming with them?
My coffee finished, I climb off my perch onto the sandy beach, my feet buried. I take off my coverall. Careful not to step on sharp stones or broken shells, I wade into the water. Minnows scurrying as I go deeper.
I submerge, my hair floating weightless, an invisible sea breeze whipping strands back around to my face. Breathless, I follow the sunlight, an underwater flower seeking its rays. Bubbles escape my nostrils, popping as they reach the surface.
My toes are the first to emerge, the air the same temperature as the water but I can feel the dryness.
My head, half under, half above, pillowed by the soft waves. I stand up and spin to see if this perspective changes my view of the area.
Everywhere I turn my sight is slightly tilted from before. The treeline hovers and the rocks reach toward the sea, yearning to break free and explore. They have seen so many others come from afar, multitudes depart on journeys in that direction-to the sea-that over the centuries their forms have stetched farther out.
As I follow their line of sight, I’m interrupted by movement on the neighboring beach. You are returning.
Your shirt comes off and you’re swimming over to me. Your wake hits me before you do, and then you are right up against me, holding me to you.
“Have a nice walk?” I ask while smiling into your eyes.
“Getting hot. Water feels great.”
My morning wake up call gets even better as you get closer and kiss me, my heart picking up speed, my racing thoughts stopped dead in their tracks.
Feeling you here, the water embracing us, time stills. You turn my head to the side and your lips trace the water that lingers there on the right side of my neck.
My hands wander, searching your back, mapping their way to where I want to hold you tight.
Your fingertips tickle down my sides. You grab my hips and my curves meet your angles.
The gentle waves move with us. Your kiss stronger, an undertow. My press against you, diving deep.
Our pulse flowing and twining together, we drift into each other, falling into a dream together.


“What are you doing?”
“Taking in what it’s like this high up.”
“With your eyes closed?”
“Chilly wind gusts. Short of breath. The sound of thunder.”
I open my eyes and see a flash of lightning from below. A few miles away a thunderstorm is brewing. It never ceases to amaze me how many different views of the horizon there are. How it’s possible to remain untouched by lightning — be above the clouds and see the bolts flash down.
I turn slowly around. The gritty pebbles, wind and my lightheadedness at this altitude making me wary. So dry up here. No vegetation. The panorama of the area is mindnumbing. How far we can see in all directions.
“Are we going to do this?”
“Impatient now? Took me forever to convince you to do this.”
I walk up to you, lift your sunglasses, hold your left cheek and kiss you. You pull me close.
“We’re doing this together.”
“Yes, unless you’re chickening out.”
I kiss you again. We take our time. Our lips barely touching at times, pausing in between breaths. Your hands massaging my neck. Your fingers sneaking under my hair, grabbing and releasing tendrils, matching the rhythm of our movements. We break apart knowing if we don’t stop now we’ll be here for a while. I give you the smile of a woman well loved. Your expression is thoughtful–fast forwarding to when we’ll be together again, when it’ll be more than a kiss between us. My eyes have locked with yours, both hands hold your face.
“We’ll meet where we planned?”
“I’ll be with you on the way down.”
“You checked your gear?”
“Have you?”
I give you a serious “Are you kidding?” look.
“I take that as a yes.”
“Here we go.”
We run. I’m on the left, you’re on the right. The last step we launch ourselves off the cliff and for a second it seems we’re stuck in time. Then, we freefall.
You’re screaming so loud I can’t hear my yell. We fly down without wings, our stomachs somersaulting, our senses on high alert–aware of where we are, where we are falling, and as frightening as the drop is, our spirits soar.
I look over at you, you nod, and I pull my cords, releasing my chute and up I go from you. A few seconds later your chute billows and snaps out. We navigate through the air to our landing spot. The ground speeding towards us all too fast. We glide for a few minutes, the landscape our carpet. I land and run through my return to earth. I fight with my chute as it pulls me back a bit. I gather it up as best I can. You do the same. We carry them to the parking area and throw them in the hatch of the SUV. I grab my bottle of water, and hand you yours.
You can’t stop smiling. You can barely contain your excitement.
“Not bad.”
“Not bad? That was awesome!”
“You know what would make it better?”
“What?” Before you can finish the word, your mouth is on mine and I am all over you. I push you against the back of the vehicle, you rest on the bumper. I move in between your legs, nothing else on my mind besides sharing what remains of my thrill.


You’ve finished setting up the tent making use of the light at the end of the day. Our backpacks disassembled, sleeping bags and other personal items placed carefully around the interior. A portable lantern hanging from the low-lying ceiling, a flashlight, our books and booklights all set out.
The wind has died down, the birds quiet. The shadows from the peaks behind us grow longer on the mountainside we face. The late summer flowers glow in the last burst of light, their scent mingling with drying grasses and pines.
We’ve hiked all day and our legs ache, our eyes weary, our backs sore.
The landscape around us slips into night, and we crawl into bed. We zip ourselves into the small tent, listening to a few bugs buzzing and bouncing off the tent, as they attempt to get to the light inside.
With the night’s darkness a damp chill settles into the meadow where we camped. I lie on my left side, all but my head and right hand outside my sleeping bag. My booklight dimly illuminates the page I read, the sound of a flipping page interrupts the stillness. You are sitting up, reading as well.
It doesn’t take long for my blinks to lengthen, and I start to doze. I hear you shut your book and put it away. I open my eyes, click off my booklight, mark my page and slide my book into my backpack.
You face me on your side, your right hand under your right cheek.
“Are you cold?”
“A little.”
“I have an idea.”
You unzip your sleeping bag, unzip mine, then zip our bags together. You pull me over to you, and I wrap my right arm over your waist and around to your back. You do the same with your left arm. You move your head forward and kiss me. I move my right hand up from your back to your left cheek, holding you as we kiss. You mirror my action, caressing my right cheek. My leg moves in between yours, and yours in between mine. We are wrapped up into each other keeping each other warm. No campfire needed.


It didn’t take long, a moment for my naked skin to be seared by the arctic breeze. I stepped into the steaming hot springs, an incredible contrast in temperature, the water felt almost boiling upon first contact. My right toes dipped, my foot eased under, my heel, my ankle, and sank until my sole hit a solid rock. Once secure, my left foot followed, adjusting from the prickly heat of near frostbite buried in the snow at the edge of the pool to the warmed stone ledge.
As I lower my torso into the shallow natural bath, I hear ice thunder, cracking as the lake in the distance shifts, its waves caged by a foot and a half of frozen ripples. I wade over to the center of the pool, floating just above bottom I circle around, my face into the frigid wind, which freezedries my eyes. I close my eyes, bending my neck so my face is parallel to the surface. When my eyes open, they are kept warm by the mist rising. I close my eyes again and this time I arch my neck up, open my mouth, stick my tongue out, catching snowflakes, light and cool dots connecting with my taste buds. I draw in the winter air through my nostrils, its icy burn tracking down my throat into my lungs. I’m so absorbed in making sense of the contrasts I perceive that your tongue against mine jolts me into another awareness. Your presence slips into me and I bring my tongue out to reach out to yours, expecting to feel the cold, but you’re there to block it out, shielding me in like embers that keep a dying fire burning. Your arms have wrapped around me, mine have shot up out of the water to hold your neck. The water chills you and you lower yourself until we are face to face, vapor wisps surrounding us, snowflakes disturbing the hot whorls. My subtle smile meets yours.
“That was unexpected.”
“I will always bring you surprises.”
“Well, I will have to think up a few of my own,” I say, my toes tickling your ankle. We float for a while in the midst of clouds, turning up the heat to ward off the cold.

Mind's Musicality

The haze never fully lifted after the morning fog. The blue brilliance of sky fought to peer through, adding a pastel hue to the blurry cloudcover. No matter the weather the green that carpets the countryside is vivid. My hours’ walk followed stone walls that rolled with the hills. For miles I saw the same scenery, but instead of boredom, every slight turn, gradual incline or descent kept my mind at ease. A steady stream of words and images lifted from my mind’s recesses, waiting to be brought out by the ongoing waves of this landscape. Like this long winding stone wall, concepts fit together, phrases aligned, rhyming lines stacked up.
Now, unmoving, these ancient rocks I rest on outline future verses, elusive spirits.
My hands steady, arms reaching behind, fingers spread across cracks, feet in grooves. The solid boulders cradle me while ideas cycle through, turned around inside my head.
You place your hands on my shoulders, careful not to interrupt. The gentle circling of your thumbs, the kneading of your fingers and palms are tactile poetry, a song mixing in with the music already playing, the crescendo ahead of us, your hands leave me to my rumination. You sit behind me, your legs framing mine. Your chest touches my back, your arms extend out, skimming mine, your hands cover, your fingers interlace, tips rescoring the cool stone’s scratches.

A score
of rough stone edges
a string of interlocked rocks
phrases align
rhyming lines stack up.
The incline’s winding
outlines future verses
elusive, subtle breaths
waiting to lift,
slip free
from mind’s musicality.

My mental finale moves me to turn to you, turning back time to our present. My hands like a sliding note playing the rock ridges.
Kneeling, I adore you.


I exhale and watch my breath as it levitates, hovers and drifts downstream, disturbed by the spray of the excited river slowing to hang with the mist. It skims the rapids, launches off rocks, goes ashore, shakes off the dewey drops and climbs a natural ladder through a break in the trees. It prances on the thick layer of foggy walkway, following a curvy zipper to the edge of the mountain. It leaps to the clouds and rests there.
My breath is startled by the shimmering water below, twinkling as rays of sun hit the rushing water. Its sight easily crossing the barrier of fog, a wall that has kept the river upstream dim and dozing.
Glancing clockwise, completing its tourist circle its gaze returned to the path it took my breath jumps back on the rocky crag, quickly zooms the trail down the steep slope, slides down the ladder, caught in a cushion of mist, bounces off rocks, dodges spray and hits me as I inhale deeply.
Your warm aura right beside me as we sit radiates like a fire’s heat from a few feet away. My head on your left shoulder, I squeeze my right hand and arm through your left arm and side, finding your left hand. Our arms twisting, bringing us closer.
“What do you see?”
“Beauty. Life. Time pacing itself, taking cues from what fills it, surrounds it.”
I sigh.
“Hmm.” Your eyes transfixed by our vantage.
The fingers of your right hand touch the top of my hand, tracing nature’s contours, what you see here below: layers, surfaces, profiles, outlined in light curves, turns, swirls up my forearm past my elbow, the soft muscles of my upper arm.
I smile looking out at the scene you are drawing on me. Lifting my head, on the left side of your neck, I breathe out, slowly letting out a steady stream of air through my lips, moving again through the path it had taken earlier, and back again…
You shiver. With my left hand I gently redirect your attention to my face. Your right hand covers my left, your lips cover mine, and we trace a new path.

Window Frame

The easel wobbles as the hairs of the brush dabble on a corner. With each stroke I make an attempt to wipe the window clean. When I finish and place this window frame on my wall I can look out and see the corner of this quiet garden.

As I move my eyes from the painted canvas to the steps before me the image has changed into a moving picture. I see your shins, your knees, your legs... My hand stills, and I place the brush in the cup at my side. You have my full attention and I have yours. Your steps crackle along the pebbled walkway and when you make a turn what you see is where you just came from, but you just did a 180. You crouch down and take a few moments to explore every angle. You take my left hand in yours, then my right hand in your left, paint smearing onto your fingers.

Your eyes are now appreciating mine and I try to interpret yours.

"I think we need to add a little more color to the landscape."

I smile and stand up with you. My left hand releasing, but my right hand now glued to your left, the paint drying. We walk over to the wall, I lift my smock off my neck with my left hand and it drops onto the path.

We walk around the small tree to the corner. You sit down and I sit down on you. Our hands still clasped, you start to unfold them and I shake my head "no." In the same moment I use my left hand to take off my t-shirt, the shirt hanging off our wrists. Your right hand sketches my waist as I trace your lips, and my left hand strokes the right side of your neck.

Your hand skims to my spine and unlatches my bra as I draw freehand a line from your neck to your belly button, then lowers to unbutton your jeans.

My straps sag and your jeans open as I slowly unzip them. In our impatience we unclasp our painted hands pulling each other apart until our only covering is each other. The slight chill of the spring air brings goosebumps to our skin, but we rub each other warm. The rough canvas of the corner forgotten by the softness of our touch, hushed tones, and wet kisses.

Colorful streaks tattoo us where our hands have wandered, our skin pink and red from rubbing, my cheeks blush from the pleasure we share.

I air dry you with my breath as we finish. 


It's difficult to say how long we had been floating on this sea of tranquility, our eyes closed but the strength of the sun felt stronger than ever. I was twirling in some sort of calm whirlpool, then opened my eyes to see the cirrus clouds being pushed down at me.

I fall below the surface, sink for a while, my hands helping me plummet. I briefly open my eyes and see cærulean blues, one layered over the others like watery sedimentary layers.

Your form coasts over mine, and in that one instant, your drifting face peers into my glimpse and as I close my eyes to prevent more of a sting, I smile.

My smile is met with your gentle kiss as you have wafted below, the soft underwater ruffles hitting me just before your body reaches mine. We spin like bobbing compasses before we align and hold each other breathless.

Beach Waterfall

The hammock gently swayed as the stick I used to doodle in the sand pushed me back and swung me forward. The waterfall’s breeze doused the humid heat enough to cool me down so I can relax some more before taking another swim, but not enough to keep my burning, tired eyes from closing.
As my hanging bed rocks to stillness, my squiggles ceased, the branch fallen, my sleepy mind is confused by contrasting sounds: the slow ocean waves, a natural static, its volume turned up then back down again. The small waterfall, its steady trickling, a rainshower without clouds. An even rustling at ground level descending down the cliff trail behind me. At intervals each set of sounds drowns out the other, occasionally reaching my ears all at once. It’s one of these clashes I’m drifting off to sleep and your lips kiss the center of my forehead.
“Napping again?”
A barely audible “hm, hm” hums from my throat.
“Let’s take a swim.”
I stay cocooned in a dreamdaze until your lips meet mine persuading me to return to you. My eyelashes unmesh, coming back through the gateway.
You take my left hand and pull me up. I’m staring at your face while my disorientation lessens, my focus readjusted.
I sit up and roll out, my bare feet hitting the hot sunbaked sand outside the palm’s shade.
That wakes me up.
You, with sandals, are unaffected by the burning beach.
I jog, pulling you along, not to the ocean but to the waterfall.
Once under the spray I lift my face to rinse off the light sweat, open my mouth to swish cool water for a refreshing mouthwash. My arm is extended, my hand still holding yours. You wait for me.
And then you see in my eyes a mischievous grin.
And a spout of water hits you on the chest as I spit out the water.
“I’ve told you NEVER mess with my naps” as I start laughing hysterically.
The look on your face …
isn’t what I expect.
Oh, I’m in for it now.
“Oh, no.”
“Oh, yes.”
You quickly rush at me, grabbing me, and throw me over your shoulder.
“No!” I scream.
Too late. You throw me in the ocean after walking out a ways.
In midyell and half laugh I swallow salt water and go completely under. As I flail and regain my footing, I come up slowly… first the top of my head, then my eyes… and I stay there.
As soon as my eyes open, you splash me.
And I jump and splash you with all I’ve got. You tackle me and we go under, you have a hold on me, bringing me to the surface.
Playtime is over.
Your body supports mine as we’re here, half underwater, my legs wrapped around your waist, my arms around your shoulders and upper back.
And I kiss you. You don’t mind the water this time.


We sit face to face, each seated on a rounded boulder in a natural gazebo smiling at each other in the glow of sunlight radiating through a canopy over your head. The orangish reddish warmth accentuates my blushes during our staring contest. Your knowing eyes hold mine. I lift my eyebrows to counter your attempt to get a rise out of me and make me avert my gaze. You smirk. I tame my smile and revert to my original facial expression. Serious, focused. Not to be swayed. Your wiles are crafty. Luckily, I’ve had plenty of practice over the years and with the games like these that we’ve created together. I know your playbook, and have a few tricks of my own up my sleeve that you don’t know about. Let’s see what will shock you the most.

The side swipe of the mouth. Nothing. Just the bait. You are so self-assured. You make an on-the-prowl serious glare. About to pounce? I lobby back with a bored look. The hook. You contemplate only briefly and hit me with your best shot. You’re a quick thinker. I may be slow to the punch but the extra time is calculated. I’m unfazed. My subtle smile creeps up making the Mona Lisa look like an amateur. You look momentarily affected but cover it well. The line is taut. Now, let’s reel you in.

You blast me with your sexiest charm. I’m not going to lie, you about had me. My heart is on fire and if I move even the slightest I will break. You lay it on thick. Too thick, and that is your demise. You crossed the line from play to player, and my responding death stare lights the match. You lean across the small space that separates us and give me the sweetest kiss. In the end, it’s a tie.