I could never explain this to her. We would often finish with me behind her—her explicit favorite, my secret preference. The look over her shoulder—that’s why it’s so hard to let go.

There were other looks that bound me to her as effectively as chains. Looking downward into her face, full, slightly pursed lips with the color of pale roses blooming in the soft notch of her throat and on her cheeks, the open, expectant, curious pleading in her eyes, pulling me into her. I look to the left, seeking respite from the heat of her gaze and see her quivering foot with it’s bright red nails planted against the bedroom wall.

Later, the spell is spent, the look of her face turned into my shoulder, our bodies fitted together so perfectly--a surprise. The lines of her face unfolded, relaxed—eyes closed, breathing softly and deeply—at peace. And so am I.

Hard to explain THE look. The background of muscle under tanned, freckled, soft skin, surprisingly narrow waist, the down which ran into the nape of her white neck. The feel of my hands on her hips. Her warm perfume and the sight of darkening lips keeping time with our movement. I would trace the line of her calf with my fingertip, like a man fearing he is lost in a dream might pinch himself.

Just as I was suspended in and losing the contest with my own lust, my love of who and what she was to me, she would turn her head and glance over her left shoulder as she deliberately stole control of my movement, squeezing.

The Look locked me to her desire like a butterfly pinned to the stiff white cardboard of the collector’s case. She reached out and held hands with some long dead Celtic ancestor and called on her own blood to fuel her incantation. Pale blue eyes would turn dark under hooded lids. Breathing became shallow and halting through dry, parted lips pulled into a small expression, part grimace, part smile. An invitation.

It was the lost wax method of the heart, her heart. The Look filled me with her impression of my possibilities, an almost palpable substance that pushed aside my own pale and anemic view of myself. She would eventually bury her head in the bedclothes, overtaken by her own pleasure. As I filled her, I was filled in turn with an image of a whole, unbroken me, angelic and demonic.

Eventually she came to believe I had failed her. She did not understand that as she turned the light of her eyes away from me, I finally collapsed into my own claustrophobic vision of myself. A puppet with donkey ears, no hope of having all my sharp wooden angles transformed into flesh that could reawaken her desire.

When she left, I surprised myself by accepting her invitation to Look one last time. Now I wait on a shelf in the dark, trying to duplicate her invocation of my best self with my own mind’s eye.

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