How far away are you?

A particular kind of heat is one that is stifling, suffocating, and this time you are pressed up to the ceiling. Your shoulder inches along the tight space, working with a twisted hip and a tensed butt cheek, a new prop. A spread of action and exertion. This hard is about surface and, of course, awkwardness. You are against something that does not give back, condensed droplets are its only response. Wrestling with yourself for comfort, the edges that you find can be both welcome and unwelcome. Firm grip. Grappling. Veins protrude letting you know they are working too, a hot damp forearm taking hits of pneumatic vibration. Looser skin wobbles and cushions, a thick fold of belly fat is taught in this position, it is pale and pink, bulging over your belt as it secures and indents, leaving red marks around your waist. Breath becomes shallow, held near to asphyxiation, as both arms try to let go, fall with gravity, but you hold, hold. Keep going.

Now you rest. Then with some finality to each move, each push, you build up this space around you, pulse again towards the wall, three toes recoil to keep from sliding. This repetitive burn. To look back out of the space you need to lie flat, force your neck, no headspace. A clammy chin and hot empty words flush down into your t-shirt, warm damp breath is comforting. You whistle long blows, try to travel the focused air to where your belly button disappears. To build this up has been exhausting. Sight becomes labour and to imagine this will all come down with only half the flourish, half the sweat and struggle. A climactic moment alone, looking to your hand that has found some kind of finishing pose. Those still moments of thought. Wanting to take off your top and feel all the surfaces. Look at what the cooling does, as all the fine fair hairs rise to attend to a new environment. Thicker hair falls flat in neat curls, too wet. You want to smell more like yourself, less blossom.

I pass a light timber length down to someone who receives it. No gloves, just remember to clasp, clasp, firm and sure. If you are too soft and let it run through your hand, punctures come. Something goes under the skin, where other nerves are at work. There are more heart beats where you hadn’t felt them before and other dripping. Caressing comes last, yes it is true, it is flush. This is done with fingertips, firm exploration, eyes inward. Feeling edges and depressions.

With ear defenders on, this clasp to your head is secure. You hear yourself and skin to skin contact is amplified as you fumble for light, the torch in your mouth throws out sloppy direction. You wish someone else was here. Can you hold this? You can’t explain just now why each word is laboured. You hold your breath, steadying again. Now you’re on your back again and temples cry out, sharp and dull moments. You are satisfied that these two things blur. How far away are you?

Spread out to stretch like an ordinary star, eyes in unfocus at the proximity of the ceiling, this partner reflects you, sharing the moment. You wish to ask someone to put their knee between your shoulder blades, a hand firm to each shoulder and to pull as if releasing something from the sternum.

There is this sensation: it is the tipping followed by falling. In a dream, you are on scaffolding and are looking down to where the struts meet land. The whole thing starts to go. You had this vision before you ever went anywhere near these things, the climax to dreams before the wake. Never to land but to know the drop well. 

A body I desire is secure in expression, the click of a firm clasp. A familiar grip, just that. I have fastened myself to this idea. A body serviceable. A body understood simply by a set of moves. The red creases and indentations are everywhere, suggestions of a position too long held.