I feel it in my fingers
I am so absorbed
By your lustrous hair all iridescent like raven like otter YES I’m talking to you YES I’m looking at you YES I’m noticing your ribbons and your ringlets and the little baby hairs on your neck that are too short to curl
When I stopped Susanna in front of your apartment when she was carrying the breakfast tray how I pined how I preened and when I said Figaro was calling her she believed me.
Yes that was me
See what I did?
When I took the tray in my hands I remember exactly the cup with its froth of chocolate and its trembleuse saucer of fine Sèvres faïence all turquoise and the gilded glass of water for contrast; I looked at it and I thought that’s us: you as rich and subtle as the chocolate… and I the transparent one, I the one cold and familiar... I know you see right through me,
But I took the tray in my hands
And oh how she protested OH how I shook then
But she left me there
The weight of your world in my fingers
It’s heavier than it looks
And I brought you your breakfast and you looked at me
Your hair still in papers and you in your chemise
You all cambric and flush and flesh
I took you by surprise, didn’t I?
How you reached for your wrapping-gown then, its painted vines entangling
But I saw what I saw before you swept out of sight, enfolding your burning in lush gardens saffron and indigo
How you wondered at me; rich and subtle in my velvet suit, and all for you
And then I saw through YOU like the ice water slipping weightless from its cup--
I didn’t drop it!
I put it on the table. You rose, you drew your robe
Around you but I saw as you rose
Your skin prickle and me in my velvet and you in your indienne
Slipping your stocking feet into silk mules tiny and puzzling
Your eyes training on me, vying and seeing my eyes on you
And this ice all over, this ice dropping down my collar into my breeches so I broke the ice
And I slipped my finger in the chocolate and I licked it and I winked
And you slapped my hand away too late.
And your blush and your eyebrow raised, sans vermillion, sans clove, it was all You;
All real, and for me at this hour--
I saw you flush and I felt it in my fingers
I wanted to take the weight of your world in my fingers
I wanted to slip and lick and wink
But the knock on the door
When Susanna realized what I did
Too late and your blush and your eyebrows and your ribbons and your flush and flesh and prickle and your wrapping-gown spiny and alien concealing cambric, concealing coveting
But the knock on the door and how you turned on me then!
How you scolded but I liked it and I saw you seeing through me, right through me--
And I left when she bid me but I’ll be back--
Mark me; I saw your wink--
I will be back and I will have my way.