I wasn't looking at you, you realize.
Not at you.
It was the long cold drip of white ooze dribbling down your chin: the flakes of hard
fudge, lingering, defying gravity to cling to the slowly devolving mass of creamy
sweetness on the stick in your hands. Vanilla and chocolate. A cheap popsicle
from the man down the street, melting down into the decay of a day that rose up in a
cloud of haze, pervasive and stifling. That's what I was looking at. Staring at. Fixating
across the aisle, fixating, until your eyes wandered up to mine and I was embarassed.
You were winking.
You probably thought I was doing something entirely inappropriate. I had no choice
but to come over to you then, and make amends.
But it wasn't you originally.
No. No, it was the long, hard line of that
collarbone under your bright pink shirt, covered in chocolate that I was staring
at when first you caught me at my trespass. Twisting rivers of goo making sticky
streams along your skin, and all these flavors, all these gestures, of your tongue reaching
over and into the soft center of the pile, full lips moving over, taking down, wetly
sucking at the drooping, dripping puddles-to-be, on your polished fingers, down your
arms. I was watching those thick white globules of melting ice running in
stark contrast with the deep brown of your skin, and you not making any effort to clean it
up. Just enjoying your ice cream in the heat, letting it run all over your body with a
random sort of playfulness, a rambling, soaking completeness that no man ever could.
You were a mess.
I tried to offer you a handkerchief, a napkin, my sleeve, even, to clean your chin,
but I gave you my mouth instead and helped you finish your popsicle. Instead,
I wiped the trails of creamy sugar from your skin with my thumb when I grazed it along
your neck on my way to your hair.
You were a mess when I found you, and I should have taken that as a sign,
when that was what attracted me so violently to the throbbing in your brain and in
between your legs and in our heart that I imagined already beat as one, from the
I smoothed away that thick scent of vanilla from your collarbone that day in the
sun, but I left you a mess still some weeks later, when I understood that you expected me
to clean up the rest of you so easily. I watched the falling dreams running down your
mouth the same way a lick of ice cream fell away on your skin, and I was similarly
enthralled. I was amazed at the stark contrast, harder than white on chocolate, or of ice
cream on your hot, burning skin -- of desperation on your face, cold and plain, and
always (always...) asking me why.