JACK IN THE GREEN

by
His Love Life in Fourteen Sexual Moments

What was I searching for, aged seven, with my rug’s eye view of things, on my back sliving forwards – Mrs Williams, my mother, or nearest me, Mrs Williams’ sister holding the door as she goes on talking.  There’s the hem of her dress on my forehead, nose, lips as I enter.  The closest I can come to it now is the tacit light of pine plantations, their muffled softness, the urge there always to undress.

​​​*

Fast forward to a cross channel ferry, the white cliffs approaching, and she was coming past me – the woman I’d fallen for by simply looking. Dutch – from the conversation with her friend, a younger guy. They’d been on deck the whole time.  I couldn’t keep my eyes off her.  She noticed my gaze but, rightly, paid no attention. When a fine drizzle started, it was then she passed me, with that flag of fair hair almost in dreadlocks, that mustard coloured, A-line skirt, those dark brown tights. She retreated to the shelter of a stairway.  I passed her as I went inside.  We exchanged glances, but again nothing more.  Then something strange.  As I went downstairs to the first half landing, she moved from where she stood, to stand by the rail directly over the stairs I would go down next.  The balusters were thin steel uprights, and she was as close as she get.  I’d see everything if I looked up.  And I did look.  I kept my gaze unashamedly upwards, to follow the line of her legs into the darkness.  But it was the way she’d moved to give me the view.  That was the sexy thing.  “Would all drivers and passengers return to their vehicles”, crackled from the speakers.  No way.  Not yet.  I found an empty Gents amidships.  Was so charged up, it took only moments to earth myself into a cold urinal’s pouting mouth.​​​​

​​​*

Can you love someone without so much as kissing them or touching them, just being in their presence five days out of seven, till the ache gets so much each summer (as clothing thins) you want to turn away and disappear, not see their face again, their photograph, nor any note you made describing how they looked or what they said or didn’t say that time you finally confessed your love then quickly switched the topic to the scent of lime trees at the window, that unpronounceable tisane the blossom makes, its sedative effect – supposedly.

​​​​​​​*

A hot day in the furthest wood.  I’m wearing only shorts, t-shirt slung across my shoulder.  In a quiet part, took them off too.  Walk naked.  Cock moving on the air with every stride, pricking up its ear so to speak, wanting the sun for itself.  My left hand (the stranger’s one) doing duty first, till the right took the tiller. Letting the last drops fall where they may as I walk on through that ferny world. Someday I’ll follow every Eve-like curve of her as she moves with me there. Afterwards, we’ll brush each others’ hair of leaves.

​​​​​​​*

I carried the mirror, an empty oblong of sky, from bedroom to wood. Stood it, a tremouring pool of green, against a tree. Said: “Shyly hugging your breasts, step from the leaves onto the leaves”.  I heard a sigh and went in deeper.  My tablespoon of blue milk on the mossy bole.  Said: “Be that sunlit clearing, that sweetness from the gorse”.  And again said: “Our single stripe of sunlight on the ground; this lettered trunk a workmate for my feet; this sloping bank to back you keenly, slide home the hasp on its staple”.  A tiny gasp – fire red as a bramble leaf.

​​​​​​​*

Eric Gill’s icebreaker with any new female he met was to offer a ruler and ask if she’d measure him flaccid and erect – the light of God’s glory always to hand beneath his artisan smock. What a prat! I thought. Then remembered I’d sent a polaroid of mine to the woman  I was crazy for, thinking it would ease things up in the bedroom department. With less disappointment too – since apologies for being on the shy side of average accompanied the shot. Mags, bless her, sent back by return some six by fours – all body paint and shadow. Ideal, as calling cards go. On our first night, it could have been the host she was taking, so keen was she. Calling it – though I took this with a massive does of salt – divine.

​​​​​​​*

I would purse together the four lips of this sweet pea flower, for the line of the inner lips’ greater projection and suffusion of colour.  Or gently spread them apart, so the stipule inside – not pink like the lips, but a washed through white with no scent to speak of, proudly stands out.  Would take each part in my mouth, or simply look and go on looking.  And it wouldn’t lose anything by this, or grow ugly or commonplace – quite the reverse.  Forgive me, but someone as serious about flowers, as floriferous even, should know and understand this perfectly.

​​​​​​​*

Before it happened, I rinsed your cup out in the sink, ran my fingers down and round inside. While it was happening all I could think was, seeing your head on my pillow, this is what it is to have no wishes left.  So how could the kettle half an hour later give the impression nothing had changed?  The moment of surrender there already – your reflection quizzing mine quizzing yours by the bed dents in the carpet of that empty room, in that flattened nest of meadow grass, in the mirror on the wall – there already, whether or not we ever kiss again. I can’t not say I love you every other word. Not stop each step we take to kiss once more.

​​​​​​​*

I bought that skirt especially. Begged you to please be en plein air beneath.  Enjoy the ease of in and out.  My gentle pressure from behind, matched by pressure of your own.

No one around, why shouldn’t we there and then.  Fuck.  Withdraw.  Walk on.  Then fuck again.  Withdraw again.  Stay primed for the next angled-over tree.  And so on, to our favourite hollow, where our clothes would join the leaf-litter, the branch-shifting glitterball sun; the naked branch whose lightning bolt electrifies the scene – to hear us come.

​​​​​​​*

In the backyard for weeks now facing the wall – two plastic stacking chairs, a red one mounted on a grey, their legs aligned, the seat of one tipped forward slightly on the other.

Each time I pass I glance their way – to the fox and vixen screaming nightly, all night, for release; you and I in the full-height bedroom mirror.

​​​​​​​*

Loving as we were, the place and the B&B, what took the edge off slightly was the tidemark of plastic high and dry on sand and marram grass in every cove and quiet inlet we found to do it in. We wanted someone to say Enough, bring litter louts and plastic industry execs, plover-tumbling from the sky to out-scurry the dunlin in a wand-like transformation of the shore. Wanted someone to stretch a magic arm around the U-bend in the loo for the Dutch cap that had slipped its berth in error and been flushed away. And have it buffed and gleaming on the edge of the bath when we got back in from the miracle outside, still wanting more.

​​​​​​​*

“I can’t do it,” you say gripping the sides of the bath.
Then suddenly: “Oh it’s coming.” First drops and flickers.  Then the stream spreads, lips open.  You shift your aim.  The sprinkling warmth stirs and thickens me.  More flow, more reach.  An affusion now, annointing belly, chest, almost the cup of my neck, before falling shy again.
“I can’t believe I’ve done that”, you said. Nor the delight it gave, the unexpected sense of giving and admitting of the other. All we go on to be from here – is here, was how you kissed me afterwards, how I kissed you. Two thirstlings at the font of springs and rivers, soaked and newly blessed.

​​​​​​​*

You rise from the bath and cease being Marthe. It’s Courbet not Bonnard who kneels by the fire to open your legs. In the video clip I play over and over, my finger comes forward shaking and weightless, a leaf to the flame.

​​​​​​​*

That night, in Henry Fielding mode, a citronella candle on the balcony, the lights of Varenna necklacing the lake, we do the Tom Jones thing of best course last.  As the sweet plate’s pushed aside, you slowly raise your skirt.  What’s sundaed there brings me to my knees to mouth a breathless grace.  Which opened shutters on the floor above: “Basta, basta”, to slam them shut.  You simply pulled me closer to the wall, pushed the table out of harm’s way.
“I
was born to fuck you,” said in utter thrall to the seed-pearl spur of you.  Face to face at last.
“You’re there,”
 you said. “Get on with it.”