september tenth
on the train from montréal to toronto

concept piece

     it’s 2025 and she and i haven’t lived together since amsterdam. we lived there with love and intimacy and sometimes even sex but we were never able to say it out loud. that’s how things are with her: she loves intimacy but she’s afraid of feeling too much so everything that happens must happen in silence.
     this time for the first time she kisses me when she sees me again and it feels like home. like always, she feels like where i belong.
     we find again as a common feeling the importance of human love and compassion: i tell her sometimes knowing it exists is the only thing that keeps me alive. knowing that there is still softness and tenderness in the world to be felt. (when i say this i think about when she moved away and left me her feather boa and i slept with it until it stopped smelling like her.) she says nothing out loud but she touches my hand and we both know we’re talking about the type of tenderness that she and i share.
     we spend the week together and by the end of it we exchange sweet words. we say “i’ll miss you.” she holds my hand to her heart when we’re kissing in bed one morning. we both speak at the same time when we say “this is nice.” (we both know we mean: “this is special.”)
     when i leave the hotel room she kisses me goodbye and she squeezes my hand. i’ve left a note for her on the bed that reads: “this is the kind of nice that lasts.”

to write well about this i suppose i should start at the beginning of this – how she ran towards me when she saw me at the airport, how she hugged me for so long and i swear i felt her put her fingers in my hair, how she held onto one of my hands for just a little longer than normal when we pulled apart. everything has felt tinged in gold since i touched down and i suppose a good writer would start the piece with a slow and tasteful piece about the car ride into the city and warmth i felt in that moment.
     but if i’m honest what i care about is the culmination of it.

when our eyes met as the elevator doors closed behind us, she had that ardency in her eyes that we always share when we have too many things to say to speak them. we hold each other’s gaze for a moment before either of us move – time slows and i can’t take my eyes off her; i am looking at her waist when i reach my hand towards her. i feel her jacket and i find her hand on mine already, her tugging at me, pulling me onto her in the tight space.
     i am so transfixed by her, and i am moving so slow. it feels an eternity passes as my hand slowly moves up her sweater, grazing her stomach. as i reach her neck, as our faces begin to draw close, the elevator bings; time resumes its regular quality. she squeezes my hand and we giggle – she leads me to her door as she fumbles for her key.
     the moment has passed and neither of us has uttered a word yet – and neither of us knows how to say anything out loud. we’re both a little dazed – we carry so many months of longing behind us. she tries to return to the laden normalcy of the car but her hair brushes against my shoulder while she helps me with my coat – i move closer and she smiles. i drop my things to the floor and find her belt to pull her to me –
     she backs me into the wall and her hand is back in my hair. she is tugging at it slightly as she brings her lips close to mine, and the moments leading up to her touch last forever. she kisses me hard, i feel her smile as she hears me gasp slightly. her fingers play on the skin on my hip. my hands fumble with her shirt buttons. there’s a magnetism between us she loves; she feels my muscles tense when she draws her touch away, she feels them release under her skin.
     she pulls away from me; she leads me towards the bed, slowly comes towards me as i sit. she has had enough of the slowness of it now. we’ve had the soft the slow the tense and now she’s so close to me, she’s grabbing my hips hard, her lips leave mine to move to my neck.
     she is pulling at my shirt already and she’s moving against my thigh as her tongue leaves my collarbone and reaches my breast. she looks up at me and i see her bite her lip before she resumes her slowness – and her fingers are trailing on the tender skin, her tongue is tracing it. i am trying to keep still for her but i can’t; she loves the effect she has on me, she can tell by my breathing how much i am trying to be patient.
     she traces the waist of my jeans, slides a finger under them - she looks so satisfied with how my nails dig into the sheets as a reaction. then suddenly she’s kissing me again, she’s laying on top of me - now i’m on top of her, it’s my turn.
     i press her wrists into the the mattress, i hold her throat, i kiss her - just once, just lightly. her mouth falls open when i draw away. i sit up to look at her for a moment and i grow speechless - the last rays of sun through the blinds drip lazily onto her body; her hair is strewn across the pillow; my hand is still caught in it and i pull it lightly. i trace from her hair down her neck down the centre of her chest where i start undoing her buttons;

 

she reaches to help me and i pin her arm back onto the mattress. she says she wants to touch me, i tell her i know she does; she will.
     her shirt finally comes undone and she shivers as i touch her skin - i look at her as i scratch down her side. i take her palm and put it on my waist, she slowly - tentatively - brings it to my breast. i let her feel me as i move my hips. i let her unfasten my pants, i let her creep between them and my underwear - the layer is so thin and even through it she finds me wet. my thoughts become blurry; oh; i throw my head back for an instant and i lose my train of thought. she tries to sit up but i push her down again; i bite her ear as i tell her how impatient she is. i am too - in an instant i’ve pulled off the rest of her clothes and am kissing up her thigh. i am torn; i love watching her shiver, i love toying with her reactions. i bite her upper thigh lightly as i try to think and she gives me one of those controlled gasps, shallow, she shakes slightly as she tries to steady herself.
     i touch her and she moans. i look up to her and her back is arched, the pink-gold stripes racing across her body as it moves under my touch. my finger works in slow, soft circles - i stop to watch her and she exhales sharply - god i love when she begs. please what, i ask. i hold her thighs apart as i ask, more of what?
     i touch her again - a little harder this time. i am mesmerized by the movements of her hips - how they buck as i come closer to her entrance. i let her guide my touch but i keep my pace slow, i keep my pace deliberate. her legs close around me and she tries to speed me up but she surrenders when i look up at her.
     before i let my fingers sink into her i taste her.

the night is sweet and we are drinking wine by the lake. we’re both a few glasses in: my playlist has long stopped playing but neither of us really noticed. our hands occasionally touch: we never move them straight away. i can see you look at the arch of my neck when i pull my hair to the side.
     as we drink more we steadily touch more as well: first it’s our feet, knocking into one another; then our thighs rest against each other; we’re practically laying down now, and our shoulders are brushing.
     your hands fall into my lap after a joke. suddenly, your touch on my thighs makes me aware of the growing wetness between them. i exhale a little too loudly, perhaps - you hear me and see me blush. then it happens fast: my mouth is slightly ajar; i see your eyes on my lips; your hand is in my hair; i can taste your breath.
     our first kiss is soft: you press your lips on mine and we both moan slightly in relief. we kiss again and you taste me the same way you might take a bite of an exquisite meal: like it’s too precious to lose any of, like you want to make it last. you savour me.
     we draw apart, slightly; our eyes lock; you laugh; i laugh. we’re laughing at the absurdity and we don’t know which part is more absurd: that it’s happening at all or that it’s taken this long.
     your eyes are liquorous and warm. i bite my lip and you kiss me again and i bite yours. it is fierce this time, you’re pulling me into you, our bodies are moving together. we are too caught up in each other to think of anything else. my fingers have crept onto the skin of your back.
     your hands are moving; you’ve started finding the places that make me gasp. you stop kissing me for a moment, just to hold yourself close to me and make me pull you close to me again. my nails dig into your back and you’re kissing my neck, my ear, my collarbone; you grab my hips as they roll against you.

i woke up last night and didn’t know anything about where i was except that she wasn’t there. after the other night, for a whole day, all i could feel was her lips on mine: soft, familiar. (sometimes when i am drunk i’ll smoke a little of a friend’s cigarette. this is a habit i picked up from her and i still only do it because they taste like her.) still, if i think about it, i can feel it. i can feel the way my hands grip her waist: i can hear her breaths. i miss her presence near me.

when someone asked me how it was seeing her, i said that i didn’t know what was happening but that we’d be in each other’s lives for a long time. i don’t understand much about us or about this or about the future, but i know these things.
i. i can’t stop thinking about her and how close i felt to her
ii. the way we’ve been writing each other is not the way i’ve ever texted friends. i can feel the emptiness of the space besides me when i wake up without her in the morning.
iii. in barcelona her childhood friend cornered me to say to say: ‘don’t let her lose you. she’s bad at distance but you mean too much to her.’
iv. she didn’t think she was queer until she met me.
v. i am both happy and lonely that she feels like home.
vi. i left her a letter and she’s keeping it for the flight home.

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