First Drafts

We’ve never met,
but he wants to know if I’d
hold his hand on an imaginary
walk through the woods—
would I let him lace my
skates before we skim
over the frozen pond
scratching designs on a flat
black surface that only
sometimes lets you see
how deep it really is
below?

I tell him yes, for a little—
let him hear what he
needs from me.
No trouble for me to say
my hair smells like
honey and mint or
some other fragrant
combination, to describe
snowflakes on my lashes
how they will sparkle like
diamonds. Bad metaphors aren’t
a sin here: the details don’t
matter much.

I think sometimes this
is what we want from fantasy:
not the ins and outs
oh baby more
how many words for hard
can I come up with?
(though who says no to a little
eight-inch fun, an inbox
filled to the brim?)
not all that,
but gestures of comfort
a voice answering out of
digital space and time.
A real face is unnecessary,
words what we want.
Or what we will accept,
at least.
This is what I can give:
the image of a woman on
a pond. A text saying
yes, I like talking
to you. A hand,
ungloved and white with
winter frost, tying a rabbit
bow at my ankle before
I smile—the only part of my
face he knows—
make tracks on the ice
and disappear.

 

 

 

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