Meandering On You

 

I want to crawl up your body

Like a vine

Wrapping around columns of perfect proportion

Attaching to muscular curves

As I slowly make my way up

To nestle in your beard

 

I’d walk around like I own the place

Grabbing fistfuls of hair

Both bristly and soft

As I make my way to your bottom lip

My diving platform

Into the soft bristle-beard-forest

Landing on my back, bouncing, and rolling about

Contently basking in your beard

 

Eventually, I’d crawl into your ear

To deliver an inaudible message

At decibels too low to be heard

But clearly understood

“I am here, everything is okay, you are perfect”

And I’d feel you relax

 

I’d make myself so tiny, that I could crawl into your eye

And sit on the edge of your lower lid

And dangle my legs off the ledge

So I can witness everything that you see

Including the gaze of a beautiful woman

 

She stares at you

and her pupils shoot tangible rods straight into your eyes

I could walk across that bridge

It is stronger than steel

 

It embarrasses me to witness such intimacy

But you are unaware of my existence

When you two connect

No one else exists

Besides,

The woman is me

The Edge of Loneliness

We sleep on the edges of a giant bed
I’ve memorized the landscape
each freckle on your back
every blemish on the ceiling

We sit at a table
in close proximity
but worlds apart
minds adrift

The vast space between us
feels insurmountable
I try to cross the chasm
there is no bridge

I love you some days
but the space between those days
is growing wider
it is me who is drifting away

Reel me back in
it is not so difficult
but kindness does not come easy
and coldness breaks my heart

I am looking over the edge
considering the unknown
over the deep freeze
on your side of the bed

 

By Donna Beck – 2014

 

Frogs

I thank God for my dead babies. Now I do. Seemed cruel at the time, and I couldn’t see the point of going through all that, but now I’m thankful the last three babies didn’t make it.

I couldn’ta left him with more than one kid. It was hard enough to leave him with one, but if there were two, I’d still be there, I know I would. Still livin’ with a man that hates me, but won’t admit it.

I can’t tell you the day he started hatin’ me, anymore than I can tell you the day I stopped lovin’ him. Didn’t happen like that. Someone told me you can boil a live frog if you put it in lukewarm water and turn up the heat real slow. The frog don’t have the sense to jump out.

My heat got turned up real slow. Over years. Plus when you become a momma, you don’t just think for yourself anymore. The rules changed. It became okay to tell me to shut up. I’d never marry a man who would tell me to shut up, but I guess I’d stay married to one.

I should probably mention that he never actually hit me. That’s important. He didn’t want to be a man who hits his wife, plus he knew I’d leave if he did. So he never hit me, he just meant to scare me, is what he says now. He did a damn good job, somedays.

But a man’s voice can do a different kind of damage. So can his eyes. Funny thing about the eyes, they can say so much. I love you. I want to kill you. Or I won’t even look at you.  For days on end.  A whole lot can be said without ever speakin’.

His eyes reminded me of Clint Eastwood in the old westerns, cept’ there was nothing handsome about someone lookin’ at ya’ like they want to kill you. At first I would look in those eyes and wonder where my husband went. Could I reach him if I spoke in a sweet voice? Could I get past the anger and find my husband who loves me? Was he still in there behind those crazy eyes?

Eventually I learned not to reason with crazy. If he got to that point, if he crossed that line, there was nothin’ to do cept’ try and weather the storm. I’d  agree with every bit of nonsense that came out of his mouth, or I stayed quiet. I became someone I didn’t recognize, passive and dishonest. But if I tried to talk sense, he’d take it as arguing and he’d stand on his toes with gestures of a streetfighter, asking me if I wanted to fight. All I ever wanted to do was not fight.

Later he might apologize, or still be mad, or forget about it, claiming whatever he said when he was mad didn’t really count. I never felt like it was resolved properly and came to expect it would happen again, just didn’t know when.  Drinking didn’t seem to be much of a factor. He’d never over indulge, or go and bar drink or anything like that. There were spurts of days of drinking a tall beer, and spurts of days with no drinking at all.

Occasionally he would go on a marijuana holiday. I always loved that at first, since he’d become real nice. My shoulders would relax during those times and I could breathe easy knowing I wouldn’t see crazy eyes. Plus he would be sweetly reasonable. Once I even convinced him we should get a kitten, but the weed holiday ended and he remembered he hated cats and the cat had to go. The weed vacations were only great at first anyway, since eventually he’d turn slothy and grumpy. Then there was the time he accidently lit the garage on fire. I left something at home and we had to turn back and saw the smoke coming from under the door. He was quick to get the fire out right before the firemen arrived and right before the gas can in the garage ignited. It was a close call. The plastic gas can melted a bit, but all our belongings in the apartment above were safe.

The fights started coming closer and closer together, and in between the not looking at me or touching me got worse, and the days I felt like I loved him got further and further apart.  I started thinking about leaving and he must of sensed it. It made him crazier.

His behavior those last few months is something I don’t like to talk about, it sure embarrasses me. I was damn near a boiled frog. I’m grateful now, thankful he couldn’t just be nice. Just like the dead babies that hurt so bad at the time that I now thank God for. I’m thankful he couldn’t be a decent human being when he needed to be.

I don’t need to rehearse the misdeeds to remember.  I still see him on a daily basis, since we are sharing our son. He has tried to convince me he is a new man, but now I can see the turbulence under the calm surface.

Besides, he can act as nice and polite as anyone, but nothing in me wants to hug him, touch him, or go back to that iceberg bed. I can breathe now. I can think of other things. I no longer feel my heart racing. Not for fear or for love. He can look at me with longing or contempt. Doesn’t matter. The frog is dead, but I survived. I learned that the frog isn’t really me, just my marriage. I did have the sense to escape, but the frog got boiled and there ain’t no way to unboil a frog.

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My Hope For You

All I want for you, is everything.

I want you to shed the expectations of everyone who has a role for you, and be who you are. I hope you have a few close friends who can appreciate the beauty of evolution, but if you don’t, I hope you are in awe of your own progression.

I want you to experience passionate kisses, gentle caresses, and desire that blurs your vision. I want you to be startled by your own euphoria, then lulled by contentedness.

I want you to feel heartache at a depth that can only be felt by one who loves completely, and experiences the pain of disappointment.

I hope you feel warm sun on your skin, a breeze under your skirt, and a ladybug crawling on your arm. I hope mud squishes between your toes, and that you appreciate the simplicity of clean running water.

I hope you are humbled by the intricate beauty found in the center of a flower, and are awed by the night sky. I hope you never lose your desire to learn. I hope you keep an open mind and allow your ideas to change.

I really hope you experience the gaze of a nursing baby that needs you the way no one else ever will. I hope you get to experience the fiercely protective love that makes you feel like a wild animal, and the relief that comes when a fever breaks.

I want you to feel sore muscles, the kind that come from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and experiencing a new level of strength. I want you to rest and feel your limitations too.

I want you to live your life and let other people live their own. I want you to experience the gift of truly helping someone, and the frustration of knowing you can’t.

I want you to surprise yourself with kindness, bravery, and honesty. With yourself. I hope you love yourself, shamelessly. I hope you have a relationship with yourself that can be the model of how you treat others.

All I want for you is everything. Everything life has to give, and nothing less.

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Hope, With or Without Feathers

Emily Dickinson wrote, “Hope is the thing with feathers”, and that she could hear it’s song through a gale-force wind. Emily had really good hearing, or maybe she was just an optimist.

Hope is a tool for the optimist, only they can use it. Pessimist wouldn’t even think to pick it up, and wouldn’t know how to use it if they did. Hope is a big tool, a useful tool, the ‘motor drill’ of the tool belt. It is not just a feeling, but a way of thinking that can alter behavior and decision making.

It is also the word most frequently used by readers who send me emails after reading any of my three ‘Manhattan Girl’ stories. When I started writing erotica, I never expected “your stories give me hope” to be a common comment in my feedback. Then again, I write pretty weird erotica. My characters have sexual relationships, but they always have adversity to deal with and overcome. I write what I know. Actually, the hot sex is a product of my sexy imagination, overcoming adversity is what I really know something about.

I recently received one of the “your stories give me hope” emails, and I would like to apologize for my response. The reader wrote that he is going through a divorce and that my stories gave him hope for the future, made him see the way things could be. I wrote back chastising the man, reminding him that I write romance, it is all fantasy, and that life isn’t really like that. I was having a bad day.

I want to believe that life can be like my stories. I don’t see why it can’t. I’m not talking about the sexual prowess of my characters, I’m talking about the way they treat each other. Is it possible?

I am an optimist who believes in love. Why shouldn’t I? I love myself, and I have a lot of love to give. I also am older, wiser, and not handicapped by a biological clock that is pounding in my ears and influencing my judgement. I am mature enough to realize that the outer shell is just that. I know the characteristics I am compatible with. I am rich with experience, not in need, but aware of what works. I’m am really on a hilltop, not in a hole, and my future looks really good from this perspective.

I have many useful tools in my belt, and my hope is charged. Sort of. I’m an optimist, so if it runs low, I’ll plug it in and recharge it. I’m going to be better than okay.

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Felina Goes Fishing

Felina walked along the edge of the large pond, feeling sad and brave at the same time. I wonder if there are any fish in this pond? she thought to herself. She knelt at the edge of the pond and dipped her hand into the water and felt around. Something grazed her hand and she quickly pulled back, but then cautiously put her hand back in and closed it around the body of a fish. She pulled the colorful fish from the water, astounded that she had caught him so easily.

“Were you looking for a fish like me? Because I’m a good example of the type,” the fish said.

Felina shook her head in disbelief, “I didn’t even know fish like you existed.”

“I’m quite rare. I’ve never met another talking fish either.”

“Why did you let me catch you so easily?”

“I’ve been waiting for someone like you to come along. Someone hopeful enough to stick their hand in murky water and pull out a lonely but extraordinary fish.”

“Astounding!” Felina exclaimed to the fish whom she now held gently in both hands. She carefully placed the fish back into the water, where he stayed near the surface and swam around while talking to her about many things. They talked for hours, as he swam in circles near the surface, and he made her laugh with his shark impression. She listened and then told him about her own life, and he listened. When she put her feet in the water, he nibbled her toes and made her giggle.

“I must say, I didn’t expect to meet such a special fish today. Or ever, for that matter.”

“I knew I would eventually meet a lovely woman. I only hoped she’d be silly enough to talk to a fish.” He flipped his caudal fin to send a playful splash her way. “I see many fish each day, but alas, they are all non-speaking varieties.”

Felina nodded because she understood. “I was a bit sad when I arrived at this pond. You have made me smile and laugh more than I have in a long time. But it is getting late and I must be going.”

“Why? Why can’t you stay and smile and laugh some more?”

“I would love to, except I have responsibilities, things I need to take care of.”

The fish swam back and forth, but did not answer.

“I have a home, and I left the doors open. The fire is not lit. I have a little cat that will be hungry.”

The fish swam back and forth, but did not answer.

“You wouldn’t consider me lovely if I neglected my cat.”

The fish finally answered, “I’m worried you won’t come back.”

Felina laughed at the absurdity. “You silly fish. Isn’t it obvious how much I enjoy your company?”

The fish floated on his side while considering the question. “But what if you are walking home and you meet a talking fox? Or a talking squirrel? Or a talking bird.”

Felina thought for a moment and said, “I met a talking fish today, and it has been amazing. If all the animals start speaking to me, it would be a tragedy. That would imply that I’ve simply gone mad. Then you wouldn’t be special at all.”

“Hmmm,” said the fish. “I think I see what you mean.”

“Besides, today might be the day you find another talking fish in that pond, and then I won’t seem nearly as interesting to you.”

“I want you to come back.”

Felina was suddenly overwhelmed by the vulnerability expressed by the fish who didn’t have the ability to come to her. “I will come back, I promise. I could not possibly stay away from a fish such as yourself.”

“I’ll be here.”

Felina walked home and did not meet a talking fox, or squirrel, or bird. When she got home, she said ‘hello’ to her cat who answered with a hungry meow. So I am not crazy. I actually met a talking fish, and I already miss him.

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