Beside Myself

by Ava Darling

She lies on her back, beside him
in the wide bed, one of her
hands touching one of his.
It is her hand that touches his
hand. The air touches her.
She feels the air as it
moves over the body she
lives within, feels the air
cool upon that skin.

She fears she is not one
with her body. This man’s
desires are seldom her desires,
too often demand too
much, push her, take
too much from her.
I want satisfaction,
she thinks, I want pleasure.
But I want comfort not
some animal driving
my legs apart, routing with his
bristled snout in search of truffles.

She feels the cool air move
over her legs, imagines the shape
of her legs, ankles to hips,
imagines her waist, that
curve from hip to rib. She
imagines comfort. She
imagines that glow, the feeling
that settles within one,
imagines how it feels as
it grows and flows through one.

The air moves across her breasts,
caresses her neck, and chin, brushes
her hair. She loves her body,
loves the way it feels to be
caressed, by the wind, or even
certain men. She imagines his
hand, touching, even caressing,
her body. She lies beside
him, imagines his caresses.

She didn’t want to know about
his days, his life or his ideas.
She did want him as an animal,
immediate, there with her
on his hands and knees, all fours,
sniffing her, as she sniffed
him, breathing, as she breathed
the same air in the same room
on the same bed.
                                On the same bed
Is that all there is to it
sex ?
         No, she said. It has to do with
limiting layers, getting
past the social. There is a level
that doesn’t include the social, a level
they both well knew a level
that turned social on its head.
We don’t need to talk about
that, he said.