Pandemic Journal 14/1/2022 — when your lover contracts COVID and isolates

At seventy, I ache for you at 3:02 Friday January 14.

I will survive. Thrive even. Without you. For a few more days. But my body my being aches for you. The surface of my skin haunts your hands. Your tongue, your teeth. Tender blessings and the muscles under your fingers the arch of my back how I wish I could feel your lips whisper into my hollows. My nipples and breasts caressed tell you stories of exotic suspense, homely cliches, unexplained mysteries.

Your soft skin under my hand melts away. I find internal organs upturned bleeding into the sheets.

That’s not all.

My heart beating fast and faster curries favour with your tongue.

Imagine the inside of your body turned towards another’s skin. The temperature rises. Death not a problem in this fiord of leg, the intimate creek of your thigh.

What’s a kidney to a lover but a kiss. Or a liver to a lover? A caress?

Just this moment I am alive with anticipation. Our distinct selves voice our longing, all covered, encompassed by each other, crossing over a thin membrane, twinned in a chrysalis transforming.

This pandemic of deferred pleasures.

Counting out time, minutes shout soon or when or why….

Why? This distance. This time.

Of touch. Of your intimate presence.

So much suffering greater than mine. So much suffering….

But if you pardon my indulgence: Nothing is lonelier than finding another and giving them up for a time.

Celibacy was my cheerful enough solitudinous path for decades

Celibacy was my cheerful enough solitudinous path for decades while I happily devoted myself to mothering my long longed-for child. And my commitment to my research and teaching brought me into rich dialogues with the questing minds of undergraduate and graduate students along with stimulating colleagues and friends.

During that long period, this practical-minded Anglo-Celt might have observed: Why want an erotic relation with another when that space is denied through lack of time or energy and the pressures of well-loved work and the welcome caring demands of your beloved child?

I was happy enough to be oblivious to the wanton: What full life could be more complete?

What changed?

Daily tasks lifted. In 2015, my child left home for her studies and adult life elsewhere. My empty nest sharpened my senses.

I retired in 2019 after 32 years and a new sense of splendid time opened up my desire for balance and well-being.

Ironically the isolation of the pandemic drew me into a renewed sense of a sensual and social body. A new daily yoga practice stretched my limbs, my muscles, my tendons, my ligaments. My consciousness of energy coursing through my nerves lit up each morning as I sat on my yoga mat with my beloved on-line teachers and fellow students. My erotic body surfaced in a late life encore of blissful desire.

Desire bridges this beyond.
This city of longing.

This dreaming body falls down Scona Hill, past the settlers’ cabin and Nellie McLung Park, through the arch of blue white lights. An engineered arc, the thoracic spine of the city, shimmers and tilts towards an aspen grove. Towering metal lights circle a reclaimed burial ground of bones lost then found beneath morning traffic’s thrum.

Now all is quiet. In this some place not far away, a frozen river thickens hard. Then thins in the swirl of dancing ice plates. Mercury rising.

I tap my fingers on the keyboard and the dog shifts and moans at my side. Imagined steps on the front porch below play low notes. At 3:19 in the morning, this contrapuntal music sounds as though it might lead to some arrival. A mental game of come and go come and go.

(I could chew my way towards your spine,
each vertebrae, a knot in my throat.)

There there, she says, calming herself.


5 thoughts on “Pandemic Journal 14/1/2022 — when your lover contracts COVID and isolates”

  1. Thank you dear Kim…. Becoming accustomed to baring my being in writing and image… A different kind of truthtelling.


  2. A lovely prose poem really, indicative of the many rich and varied personal responses to the pandemic. I especially admire the sensitive physicality of it all, the visceral, scarcely contained emotions embodied … yes, that seems an appropriate word here. A pleasure to read and re-read.


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