The first time I felt you, we were in a crowd, drinking. We were deafened and caressed, by music and laughter, smoky air brushing my cheek, a kaleidoscope of smells, sweat, perfume and earwax and leather and many other things it would take me too long to tell. It was dark.
You spoke into my ear and I felt your sharp hair tickle my lobe like a forest of needles. Your voice hummed right through me, vibrating from my skull to my thighs. You said – I forget what you said, I hardly heard it, instead I heard your longing, your uncertainty, your braggadocio. I smelled that you were a little drunk, on vodka and orange, and that you hadn’t washed in two days, maybe three. I smelled also that you worked outdoors, the grass and birdshit still clinging to you, fresh from the mower. I felt you tremble with embarrassment and faint hope. I said, my garden’s a mess. You laughed. How do you know? you said. You’ll see.
The next time, you pulled weeds as I lay in the warmth of the morning and stretched and smiled. You sang Michael Jackson and your voice cracked on the high bits and you laughed and threw blades of grass at me that landed on my upturned face like butterflies. When you were finished, you got us lemonade from the fridge and held it to my lips, cold and sweet, and then with your lemonade lips you kissed me, with your grassy, sun-warmed, sugary tongue you stroked my mouth, with your hand you oiled my leg with cool man sweat. Then you stopped, your hand on my breast, burning me.
I put my hands to your jeans, over the stiff hot cloth, up to the zip, read it like braille, came to the full stop of your belt buckle, ran a finger inside, where your skin was hot and smooth. I sat up and raised your shirt and sniffed at your stomach and chest, tickling my nose with the rough hairs, almost long enough to plait. You held my head and stroked my hair till it pulled.
I felt your underarms like soft piles of moss, the bones of your chest and neck framing your heat-prickled skin, your beard fur all the way down from your ears, your lips that bit my fingers as they passed, your hair long and a little matted from sweat and twigs, your back like a long bow, back to your belt and the curve of your dick, a branch bent and ready to spring. You knew what I wanted.
You unclasped it, let it drop. I listened to you opening yourself up, like a present for me. I shut my eyes and opened my mouth and held out my head, and it was like your kiss, only fuller and richer. I tasted you, I heard you liking it, held your butt as you moved and swayed, felt every centimetre of you under my tongue, felt your roots trembling, felt your thick wetness already collecting in my mouth.
You said, pull up your dress, can we? And I said, don’t talk while I’m eating, and you came with a rush and a shake like a wet dog, all over my nose. And you said, oh I’m sorry, and I just laughed, feeling the sticky sap caking in the heat, and put my arms around your neck, and hugged you down to me. You were my fragrant, flowering, thick-trunked tree and I wanted to plant you in the middle of my messy garden, to grow with me in the lovely darkness.