By jared a. j. butler - Posted on 06 December 2010

 A guileful glance, slowly turning the face away in feigned coyness—catch that smirk as a cascade of neural electricity we hadn't the mental furniture to comprehend at once opens a door to grave possibilities. Allowing the electricity to pass in tingles from the temples to the genitals, that wave of possibilities collapses into a fantasy, and the tracks of our decay are laid in little deaths.

Impediments deter us and the tools of our labor determine the expediency and nature of our toil, but the simple truth is that our own calloused hands nail the tracks of our wander-lusting minds to the receptive earth.

With our calloused hands, we stroke those coy cheekbones, our thumbs trace the outlines of the zygomatic sinews that draw laughter from the mouth, and we fancy in desperation that we might draw a smile without the use of our manipulating phalanxes.

We are innocent we tell ourselves; our admiration is nothing more than hagiographic praise of the geography of that body and mind, harmless as the illicit stares stolen of breasts in the National Geographic. Graphic sweat on our luxuriated anatomy, automatic and unwilled as dew on wildflowers expelling graphic pollen from stamens aflutter. Nails down the shoulder, the back, tracing the left of the spine are not yet the nails on a chalkboard and forkscratches on dinner plates of tomorrow's guilt.

We feel it in our hands and in our mouths, our clenched teeth and tongues pressed to the roof of our mouths are like pinching the tight shoulders of an overlabored lover. Our hearts will be bleach-stained washcloths, holes where the color has been erased, and with hot, tender tears we will pray to no avail that the colors return.

We'd been shown enough sunrises by the ones we loved to know that the colors always matched the temperature; where they were once hot with the summer's crimson and orange they are now cool and dull, a depressed graying purple.


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