Monday, January 6, 2014

Desire in Profile

The cat stretches to rest its paws against his chest. A man sits at the head of the bed, a hot cup of coffee in his hand. The cat issues a plea that blends a purring trill with a mew. She looks at him. He knows she wants her food bowl filled. Now.

But he doesn't want to move. It is still dark, a Saturday, and January cold. His lover holds him, her thumb and finger looped around him at the root of his desire, a meditation mudra encircling heat and blood. He caresses her cheek, hoping that she will wake enough to move her hand with more purpose. The coffee goes down easy, if bitter, and sits there in his stomach, a chemical burn.

She floats in and out of sleep, only vaguely aware that he is touching her. She is warm, between his legs, her head pillowed by a thick thigh. She dreams of landscaping -- berms, tree trunks, transplanted succulents, boulders, metal sculpture -- and knows that she will need his help. She wants him to want to help, to share her love of xeriscape.

The cat rises again, this time a bit more insistently, and extends her claws through his T-shirt. She mews, redux, with a hint of urgency.

When she sits next to him, he looks at her. She at him. She wraps her tail around her front paws, as elegant as a Japanese water color.

He takes another sip from his cup as he runs his finger softly along his lover's cheek, then traces her jaw. She stirs and tightens the loop of finger and thumb. He grows. She slips back into a dozing snore.

The last of the coffee has cooled, but is still strong. He savors the dregs.

The cat, insistent, utters her b-r-r-r-r-t.

He extracts himself from her touch and swings his leg out from beneath her, lifting and swinging the quilt off of him. He swivels out of bed, walks to the bowl, cat at his heels, wife dreaming the dreams  of gardens.

The cat waits as he delivers the aromatic kibble to a waiting, empty bowl.

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