On a high-backed wooden chair, closing my eyes to disappear,
my skin hums
with the fine trembling of your fingers
as they skim my flesh, which is segmented and framed for you by loops of white cotton rope. You touch me and I feel precious,
heavy, my bones made soft
as you wrap your arms around my forehead, tilt the column of my neck and
bite a line of kisses, from collarbone to ear.
My prayerful hands: tied palm-to-palm
with silk, buzz with sluggish blood. Your leather belt sits snug and smooth
in the crooks of my elbows.
You loom behind and over me your guardian hand pressed
hard against my mouth. No sound.
The fierceness of that silence
—I am frightened—
And finally, the gag: heavy,
smooth as a stone behind my teeth,
anchoring me to the moment:
calling me back from silence to the certainty of your voice, to your eyes,
darker, more compelling than bruises.
My face cupped like a chalice in your hands as you kiss
my silk-bound mouth, pull my breasts free and tease them with hard fingers.
After we finish, you’ll rearrange them tenderly inside my bra, soothe
blood and feeling back into my hands, moisten my dry mouth with water.
This kind of trust is hard-won, a palimpsest of strange and careful darknesses.