Thursday, December 14, 2006


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I imagine lying tangled up in the sheets with you. Hot sticky limbs intertwined, my right shin casually strewn across your right shin, me on my tummy, you on your back, my right hand snuggled around your right bicep. I drop my left hand off the edge of the bed and into my bag. Seeing with my fingers I grasp and discard first my diary, then my concealer and my lipstick until finally I grip onto my eyeliner.

Laughing, I kneel over you on the bed and taking your right hand in my left, I write ARM on your forearm. We laugh together and I write CHEEK under your right cheekbone that was highlighted with your smile. You turn your head to your left on the pillow and I write STERNOCLEIDOMASTOID along the muscle which runs from the sternum at the base of your throat up to the right-angled curve of your jawbone, and you thrill at the discovery of a new name.Bending forwards I place a light kiss in the dip between your clavicle and the top of your shoulder at the bottom of your throat, and I feel your pulse beat urgently against my lips. I write CLAVICLE along the bone, drawing a line under the kiss.

Our laughter is harder now and your tummy is shaking with the exertion. I jump to the other side of you on the bed, taking the covers with me caught round my foot. I drop to my knees again, and holding your vibrating tummy under the flat of my left palm I write ILIAC CREST along the glorious curve of your hip bone that I love to feel nestling in the crook of my hand.

Moving down now, writing swiftly I name THIGH, KNEE, SHIN, ANKLE, FOOT, METATARSAL, BIG TOE. Then I come back up and kiss the tip of your nose. My eyes dart hungrily about your face looking at the pattern of your delicious freckles. Your eyes delve deep into mine and I look at the creases in their corners as you smile up at me. I kiss your left dimple and you close your eyes. I write EYE on your right eyelid and run my hand through your hair.

SHOULDER, WAIST... I'm moving around your body again. My hand slips round and under you and I continue my naming and my loving. You turn onto your front, and I kiss every vertebra from the base of your neck down to the base of your spine. Then I write SPINAL COLUMN along the sinuous length of you.
My hand sweeps over your rounded buttocks and, both giggling madly, I cheekily write BUM on your right cheek. I burrow further in and write INNER THIGH, kissing you just above the mole inside your right thigh. BACK OF KNEE makes you scream with the ticklish sensitivity of it. CALF, ACHILLES TENDON, HEEL, BALL OF FOOT and we're done. You flip onto your back again and pull me onto you, our bodies squashing together and smearing your bodynames onto mine.In the morning when you're gone I imagine how I will be left with more than the odd stray hair and the memory. I will have your imprint on my sheets and smudges of random backwards letters over my body, like bruises.

Lisa Payne

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