Just look at the way she brushes her hair back from her face full-handed with that over-the-head gesture going straight seamless into a nervous unconscious sort of neck scratch, a scratch that’s more like just a thing for fingers to do while eyes rise to meet, hand lingering soft on collarbone, slowed to a halt but breathing, low, no portrait she but living.
Thinking, of course she is, of now and herself in it, and who’s looking. And what else? I imagine, can’t help it, it runs away sometimes, leaving thought behind.
She’s probably thinking of constellations and dark starry things, she looks like she would.
And of the lines she’ll trace with her eyes across skies and straight through you when no else is looking,
of blood like black treacle, sticking and stuck caught like sticky fingers in knots when there’s no going back from those lines’ cuts and piercings,
of smooth riverbeds for flow and shimmer and currents for carrying, washing away,
of heights for rising from and falling to because she knows displacement vertiginously, knows it well, and knows there’s no going back, nothing to go back to but now,
of what ifs and maybes, of has beens and won’ts, of an is that could be and the one that shouldn’t, carried away, never going back, scratched, cut, marked, and washed,
of every which way of what it means to die
and of what it is to be seen…
Thought returns, catching up at “to be seen” and I wonder if I understand the restraint she’s exercising in just being here, if I can fathom her trouble of being visible, the burden of being imagined each time she moves and speaks, and the knowledge that there’s never any going back, only the grainy, silted, heavy solace of retreat.
Behind gauze-like curtains with the rain outside and my feet cold like they always are when I’m not moving I sit back as I sit thinking this, thinking of her not at all innocently, I’m afraid, but more as I imagine Rasputin thought of Alexandra Feodorovna, thinking, imagining, seeing myself consuming other as other but with brute occultish pretenses of obtaining the deep dark inner, mine and hers, where transgression and salvation are concordant and we two intertwine and tangle, fully distinct and consummating the not-so-secret mysteries of who/what we want to be, our baseness veiled in poetics, and I get caught up in the memory of waiting for the train at Gatwick and hastily scribbling down something feeble about how distance and presence dawned on me as I stood there with bags beside, listening to the voices around and breathing the same air those voices were using to speak under flat grey sky, embarking on the last leg of my holy fool’s journey from provincial trans-Atlantic backwater to Big Smoke, knowing I was getting carried away and never wanting to go back.
What would she think of this, I wonder? My not my Alexandra, my not my Alice in her mad wonderland.
So I get up from my seat here and put on the shoes I wore the soles off of when I was there, then, wondering if by transference I’ll be borne away by warm feet and more carried away than I already willingly more or less consciously am by vague iconoclasm and mystic speech, by the sense and sound and sight and taste and touch of old world morbidity and lust and enchantment and old-fashioned imagination in a great little now moment’s amalgam, all from the thought-sight of that gesture envisioned and the sound-taste of her words.
Speaking of words, these taste good:
I found a way to give and take at the same time and with that new thought I approached you.
My exhalation behind that new thought as I make my advance is for her to taste, and she’ll know there can be no going back from being carried away by being seen, by being there, by breathing in being.
 T Fleischmann, Syzygy, Beauty, 4. Thanks to a good friend who I haven’t seen in far, far too long for recommending this. You’ll notice I only made it to page four before something happened. Something happens a lot.