Silk Butterflies

It sickens me. As she moves farther away I feel my breath pulled out of my breast with scalding iron claws. No, it is not an asthmatic torso that wheezes. It is she. The feel of her skin beside me, against my opisthenar, her exhalation rippling down, leafing through the hair on my arms, her eyes in which I see myself, those vacant, large, black eyes which hold everything with the innocence that only blindness can give, all of this and more kills me. She perfects me for her world while making me entirely invalid in the world where we met.
Aah! And how we met! Like a salve to my festering reality, I recall those days when she innocently stood me naked and vulnerable. It could have been a pair of butterflies that bounced of my forearm while she searched for the exit out of the metro rail. It could have been my racing pulse trying to match the starkness of her gaze which was, as I later knew, but a non-gaze. It could have been the trepidations of the Devil and the God alike, while they draped the anchors of prescience around my arm begging me to rush in the opposite direction. To you it was but her fingers; to me a beckoning into a world best left unknown.
Innocence is not a virtue, my friend. Innocence is what leaves you aware of your filth. Innocence is what leaves you feeling sick. Innocence is what murks the looking glass in your toilet-room. Innocence is what stares from behind those moist eyes as it holds me above her, while I lie spent beside her, innocence is what makes me want to give her more while I struggle to find the same strength in my veins. Innocence is what tears my skin when she kisses me without knowing that I work at the garbage disposal unit of New Yorkshire and not at the management circle of the city beautification department. Those kisses that mar the end of my working day, burn like a dollop of frozen acid melting to the retching warmth of my skin. As I reel under this torment of innocence, she slides under the cover and looks vacantly in the direction where she last left me.
I walk towards the bed and vainly attempt to discourage her innocent demarche with a conversation of corporate banalities which I had overheard while carrying the crates across the floor. She continues to look at where I was as if she prefers what I was to her kiss over what I could be to any woman. She slowly lifts her knees and I watch the silk covers slide down her shin while her gown rushes down her thigh, like a figure skater covering the length of ice, but moving backwards. Every word I speak is now turgid with gasps and I realize that my earlier gestures in conversation have migrated to quick movements which leave me undressed. She prefers that I wear my tie.
What followed has never been available to recall and hence, I confess to having but one mnemonic salve. But one thing I always remember is that hours of meshed togetherness leave no telling mark on her eyes. It is the same dewdrop face with those large vacant eyes peering straight ahead unless I call out to her along her cleavage as I lay on her stomach. We spend a few silent moments while our chests fall with lesser sharpness and transform into a roll.
Now, I come to what sickens me. Like the friction of a hairbrush on dry hair, I watch myself involuntarily swell with her departure. And as I study her rise from the bed to wash herself, I feel my entire throat stretch towards her departing thighs. I throw out an arm and voicelessly beg her to return to my side. She is my lungs. Love is not in the heart, my friend, but in the lungs of a breathless man. As she walks under the shower and slides the tip of her fingers along the ceramic, I recall that day, that day of butterflies and anchors, till the coldness of fluid drenches her and leaves me drowning in the want to have run away that day.
I call out to her.
She turns around under the cone of watery darts and I watch them lecherously cling to her skin. She looks towards the door as if all that allows entrance can be likened to me. In that sight of wetness, I feel my skin go dry and scream, “Anushka!”
She runs towards me, her hands defining the contours of every impeding object. The wet squish of feet against the wooden floors assures me of a returning calm. She nearly topples over the bed which struck at her knees. She pushes the covers aside and climbs on the bed, on her knees. Wet depressions on the bed mark the ascent of life in my blood. She lies on top of me irrigating my skin in more ways than one.
“I am here. I am here.”
This desperate revival is all that is left of me. It is in this revival that I know that I am alive. Love is not the pleasure of knowing that you are wanted, but it is the pain of being bereft of that want. As our hearts beat in the other’s breast, I hear the water pour down the drain in choking sobs.

6 thoughts on “Silk Butterflies

  1. Indeed! Indeed – how true that “Love is not in the heart, but in the lungs of a breathless man…”Lots of shining truths in this post; reveals your deep insight into these eternal intangibles of life and love. …And of course, quite beautifully written.

  2. Dear S, Mushy? 😮Dear P, 🙂 Glad you liked it.Dear A, 🙂 Glad you liked it…Dear GP, Welcome to this blog. Glad you find the writing so.Dear SCS, 🙂 Glad you liked it.

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