Love and Impatience
You’d like me to be more spontaneous.
You’d like to make love while the syrup
for my handmade caramels bubbles unattended
on the stove and the smell of dark butter
sweetens in the air. You’d like to make love
in the morning, and in the afternoon.
You’d like to make love in the evening
until the sound of the falling rain seems
to come from a world we won’t really
have to return to or learn to understand.
I get impatient with myself, too. It has been,
as you say, years—I should be over it. When my body
panics in response to your wonderful hands
I get sad for both of us. You get frustrated.
Oh, you hold me until I stop crying but also
you explain that you don’t think we should have to
worry about this anymore. You think it’s unfair
that something that had nothing to do with you
and so long ago now should punish you, but this
is how it is: I will never completely get over it.
Sometimes your touches will make me flinch.
But sometimes—and you must remember this—
we can kiss forever and nothing bad happens. Not even
burning; we saved that batch of caramels
before they blackened. Spent the rest of the afternoon
wrapping them in tiny squares of waxed paper,
our fingers nimble and light and sweet.
I will never get over that, either. I promise.
Song: Kiss Me Slowly by Parachute
Illustration by James R Eads
James R Eads is a Los Angeles based surreal impressionist who explores ideas of the soul and human connection through traditional printmaking and new digital media. More of his work can be seen on Instagram (@james.r.eads.art) and at www.jamesreads.com.
Ruth Daniell is an award-winning Canadian writer and the editor of Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts (Caitlin Press, 2016). Her poems and stories have appeared in journals across North America and elsewhere, including Arc, Event, Grain, Room Magazine, The New Quarterly, and previously in Synaesthesia Magazine. She lives in Kelowna, BC.