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Tactile Memories
By Richard Fein

I traced a cutesy "I luv u."
She guessed its meaning before I finished.
Her eyes were turned to the blue sky outside.
We lay naked on the bed,
some distance apart.
Then came my turn to guess.
My skin became a parchment for her finger.

But her nail was a sharp stylus
and her touch heavier than mine,
her scribbling quicker,
her writing less legible,
her message much longer---
running from my nape to the back of my knee.
Her first word was also an I.
The rest was mystery.

I asked her.
But she pointed to a pigeon strutting
on the window ledge.
We watched till it took wing.
I dared to ask again.
But she snuggled close
and used her skin as a blanket
to silence me.

Now I lie alone.
No pigeon parades by the window.
There's only the gray November sky.
I arch my back
and turn over to where she once lay.
Then like secret writing held over a flame,

on my skin,
I recall her touch, her touch of words,
the feel of one searing word---


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Document last modified on: 01/06/2007

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