First, There's A Dead Guy

First, there's a dead guy.
(There always is.)
Who cares? 
They'll figure it out in an hour.

The actress has red hair. She's quiet, but
simmering, like Emily Dickinson stirring chili in the afternoon
with wavy-glass windows steaming up
and a clock ticking in the hall behind her.

It's her hair, you know.
And her face.
I can feel it, that shift inside, sliding me into a time-fall.

I had forgotten the sensation on the sides of my fingers
as they curled around your green Henley at your hips.
They had never been born before that.
I had never been hungry before that.
My desire for you created me entire, on the spot. 

You had red hair. It was quiet in your dorm room,
like the air before a rare fall funnel.
I lifted your shirt up over your head,
lifted out of any life I ever lazed through up until then.
I never knew I could kiss someone
and carry that kiss like true north under my skin.

All day, I'll be thinking about
your scent,
your easy smile,
a time, place, and two girls
who stopped existing years ago, 
but who drop by unannounced and find me out.
_______

For Bjorn's flashback prompt at Toads. Last night I had the most intense dream about someone I knew when I was at college the first time (I went back later). But though I knew who it was, she had morphed into actress Julianne Nicholson, who played Detective Wheeler on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. I probably need years of therapy.




Comments

Kerry O'Connor said…
I never knew I could kiss someone
and carry that kiss like true north under my skin.

Well, Shay, you still write the best lines about love.
tonispencer said…
My desire for you created me entire, on the spot...sensual and sassy and yet, wistful at the same time. Girl, you can create the lines, you can create the real poetry.
. said…
Holy cannoli, girl. I am in love! This is THE love poem of ALL love poems.

Swoon. <3

I love J.N. too. Perfection.
brudberg said…
I simply love how you framed the love poem with that flashback from a film...

The start is simply brilliant... the dead guy is not the fall but the actress (flashback as a fall is excellent).

And as others have said, this is a love poem that avoids all those cliches that can make me sick reading...
Sherry Blue Sky said…
No one writes about love like you do. The kiss carried like true north, creating you entire......just breathtaking.
Sioux Roslawski said…
Shay--You make all your readers wish you were writing about them. What a gorgeous poem.
Old Egg said…
How beautiul, how heartfelt were each and every word you wrote. Perhaps there is something within you, a time in your past that emerges when you write this way to give us readers such a treat.
Kim M. Russell said…
The opening lines are an intriguing way to introduce a flashback – a dead guy and an actress with red hair – and then it falls gently into place – into a love poem. Such stunning lines in this poem that will stay with me:
‘…She's quiet, but
simmering, like Emily Dickinson stirring chili in the afternoon
with wavy-glass windows steaming up
and a clock ticking in the hall behind her’
and
‘I never knew I could kiss someone
and carry that kiss like true north under my skin.’
hedgewitch said…
Dreams are often so hard to render and grasp--this *is* a dream, pure and all-enveloping as only that state can be. As always, no one writes love poems--especially dream-love poems--like you, Shay.And yeah, I wouldn't worry about the therapy--this poem is worth the state of mind. ;)
Carrie Van Horn said…
"I never knew I could kiss someone and carry that kiss like true north under my skin." Sigh....this whole poem is rich with longing and capturing the moment and what a true kiss can do. As others have said, no one can write of love quite like you Shay! You capture it so masterfully!!
grapeling said…
elemental, you are, Shay ~
Rommy said…
Dreams like that can be so delicious, worth the ache that comes once one wakes up.
Helen said…
I am a melting pool of goo .... loving every word of this.
RedCat said…
So good. That first paragraph made me smile, and fall right into this story, which also happens to be a love poem. Lovely!:-)
Lori said…
I love how people morph in dreams. You dreamt of one woman and remembered another. But the feeling... even if the face has changed the feeling is remembered. I love how the kiss becomes a beacon that shines like the north star. A guiding point of light.