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burned alive

“I am a few years older now and I know this: There are tastes of mouths I could not have lived without; there are times I’ve pretended it was just about the sex because I couldn’t stand the way my heart was about to burst with happiness and awe and I couldn’t be that vulnerable, not again, not with this one. That waiting to have someone’s stolen seconds can burn you alive. That the shittiest thing you can do in the world is lie to someone you love; also that there are certain times you have no other choice—not honoring this fascination, this car crash of desire, is also a lie. That there is power in having someone risk everything for you. That there is nothing more frightening than being willing to take this freefall. That it is not as simple as we were always promised. Love—at least the pair-bonded, prescribed love—does not conquer all. It does not conquer desire.

 Arrow, meet heart. Apple, meet Eve.” ~Daphne Gottlieb

 Desire is a car crash. It’s a bending road on a starless night. You’re on foot. There’s fog. No one driving is using their headlights. It’s one part insanity, another part need, with more than a pinch of adventure. If, that is, you’re doing it right – which is to say, honoring it.

There’s not easy about desire. Nothing safe or timid. It is unforgiving and relentless. It is a willful goddess, always demanding tribute. Fickle and flighty, not to be trusted. Then again, neither is your heart. After all, it wants what it wants. Nothing more, nothing less – forgetting that there is no less. It’s all or nothing. The sooner you realize that, the better. You won’t be safer, but you will be wiser. There’s a power in knowing what’s coming. In seeing it, before it sees you.

Yes, I know: desire wrecks lives. It razes and destroys people and institutions. It will filch your good sense, if you ever had any. But, again: so will love. I don’t know which is worse – that is to say, which is more clever and more powerful. Both are a thief with expert hands. Both tear apart what otherwise might not be torn. Both are a kind of madness.

We like to pretend that we are immune. That temptation doesn’t sing out, loudly, in the middle of the day. We like to relegate it to semi-forgotten, semi-hidden shadows. Dark corners that gather dust. But that isn’t true. Desire comes hurtling out of smiles, grazing touches, small sly words. Moments herald it, tending and keeping it warm.

It is not a spot on a map to be avoided. X doesn’t mark the spot. You cannot travel to it or avoid it. Look, you are already there. You are already in the midst of that jungle. Forget about the poisons and the snakes. You’re gone. You’re done for. Forget running.

All your days start and end right here.

(This is what I get for reading too much poetry before bed.)

Categories: prose, Random Musings
  1. January 26, 2012 at 6:49 am

    double love!

    • January 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Glad that you liked this, Ana!!

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