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A Letter to Margaret
by Count of Shadows
© 1998 W.  S.  Dean

My dearest Margaret,

Picture yourself on a boat.  On a river.  And naked for your lover.  Casual as a Venus posing before her bath, you hover, no, float over the water, yet drift among the reeds and lilies.  How does the lover sigh over your breasts? or is it merely the strain of bared muscles above his churning oars.  Stroke.  Stroke, stroke.  And the tiny glowing wake of them froths in the river water.

Did I say naked? I lied.  Around the neck, Margaret, wear a velvet ribband.  Pale as blushing flesh and tinted with, is it dusk or dawn? No matter.  A peach of soft and silkennap, threads of nerve in the ripening pulse.  The color of her nipples.

The sun is nearly glaring; yet lost among the deep fronds along the silhouetting vista of the river’s flow.  Is it any wonder, my dearest, that fucking? Yet, you know how deep is my great and abiding affection, no, I say it, love for you.  Still.  What can fidelity say to passion, I ask of you to answer.

Picture it, Margaret.  Every moment.  Picture a cathedral in natural beauty.  Living nature.  What can a man, like I, do but plunge in.  Explore.  Try to, try to...Margaret, do you understand?

In each woman there lies, like some perfect statue in a marble block from Beauty’s quarry.  The Venus of her.  Goddess.  Harlot.  Sorceress.  Bitch.  Venus of love, the tempter no man can resist.  Each woman, Margaret.  Tell me, of whom should I ask forgiveness? Woman is a world.  And I, a daring man.  Explore that often unknown world, amid the fleeing shadow and the blinding passion.  And I, a thinking man, have learned there.  And I, a sensual man, have made love there.  Of whom must I beg forgiveness, my dearest?

What is a jealousy of the soft caress? Of the deep and hungry tastes of lover which lover gives, hour upon hour.  Do I not give you, my dearest, years? What is a jealousy of the joining of passion and beauty, beneath the straining moans, the sliding stroke of cock, the swollen smile of lips? No? Then, what of jealousy?

Tell me you do not remember, my dearest, that ecstasy between us? Is it not unique? Inviolate? Honorable.  Yet filled with touch.  With wanting.  With heart-deep love, my lover.  And yet.  And yet you discard my warming hand over your breast.  You deny me the familiarity of your body.  Have you no memory? Was it only dream, my dearest; you throwing back your head and crying my name as if in a trance? What conquest is your body, when our minds have fucked, have driven out light and darkness in selves and experienced the, what is its name, Margaret? Can you define lovers better? Into that nameless thing.  Together.  Sometimes so passionately that constellations form, in new and lusty shinings in the dusking sky.  Did you think that was a lie, Margaret? To see stars?

I’ve heard your many voices, my darling.  Your hollow chants that cut my soul; your laughter, like that of a child.  Your silences have schooled me feeling of you.  I can feel you when you breathe.  But there is no originality in me, my dearest.  I am no poet nor revealer of the deep hearted tale.  My articulation is in touch, is it not? You must know by now.  No lover is blinded nor deaf, nor yet, insensitive.  That’s what we learned, did we not, my lover?

Oh, yes.  It was fidelity we were speaking of.  And jealousy.  And what and why have I to admit? That there have been, that there are "other women"? There are all women.  Each.  Unique.  Discriminate.  Personal.  Is it the scrawl on linen paper that cries "Take me!"? Or the near silent whisper in the night of shadows? What cuts, my dearest, me deepest are your small vanishings.  The goings.  Wordless.  Shy.  Bared and baring your lover.  A gentleman stumbles.  He does, my dearest.

And yet, you of all, know how graceful a lover I am, do you not? Not through ego, I say this to you, you understand that, I know.  But.  Is it not so? I have always been a dancer.  Music glides into my blood.  Well, we both know the twining of lovers in music’s deepest and richest throes.  It is.  Animal.  Paradisical.  Beyond articulation of word, but the ballet of touch, of taste, of kiss, of sucking in, of taking again and again.  That, my dearest, since we have known it.  What of others?

Have you seen me, I wonder, from my own eyes? I have seen me through yours.  Your hair tented our faces, was it moonlight flitting through the softly moving strands, and painting my face with your shadow your lips tasted mine.  I saw me in you then.  For an instant only.  You do understand, Margaret? Tell me that much at least.

Understand the seduction of Sirens.  Understand the passionate heedless flinging of man and woman together.  A flamenco of desire, danced in faster steps, more bold caresses.  Have I immunity, my dearest? Can I, I cannot bolster my fortress with the mere, no, I say it is noble, the bastion of poetry.  Verses scribbled and sprawled dredged up like foam on the lips of a maddened, denied lover.  Ancient mariner and crowing blackbird, graveyard, immortality, Margaret.  What is that without.  Without desire, my dearest?

But how to describe the lover’s touch? I know no words for it, my dearest Margaret.  Divine? No.  It simply is.  And each coupling different.  New.  Continuing.  Does the hunger die because the appetite is a bit starved? No, Margaret.  I do not accept that.  What food is fucking but for the spirit? For pleasure.  For.  Everything.  Love in the body.  Oh, well, my dearest, of course, you will swiftly say Stop! Oh, yes, I know.  The deep, the ethereal, the impossibility of love, you will show me.  In some book.  Or graven on your heart’s dear memory, my Margaret? Worn like a drying bloom in a locket that chains you in a past.  Who does not wear them? And some.  Shall I name him to you? Are bound down like Morley’s ghost, link upon link of hearts forged tightly, and here and there among the chains.  A strongbox containing priceless shards.  Of shattered hearts.  Of ruined dreams.  It makes a man strong to bear such a weight, my dearest.  And still be a dancer, I mean.

The whirling touch of hand in hand; the brush of thighs: feels good.  My dearest, you know it does.  Yet because of a passion.  Because of a hunger fed.  Because I made love with a different lover.  Because of this, you now hold yourself away.  That is of a certain cruelty.  Byronic.  Exiling.  Beneath the nobility of your heart, my dearest, as I have known it.  To say nothing of.  The other.  Our often blinding passion each for each other.  And the stuttering, here and there will-o-the-wisp rhythm, like the humming glow of fireflies in our own dark places.  Our laughter.  Our touches.  Our.  How precious an "our" is.

I would to your bed again, my dearest, take us both and let the slow ravaging begin.  Fingers becoming feathers on blushing skin.  The upward flight of nipples like doves seeking more sky.  The yearning of cock and the sweet vase of woman holding the rose’s stem to blossom in sighs and silences.  Put away your jealousy in some magician’s box.  I surrendered, it is true, on a boat, on a river.  She was naked as dawn, as Venus.  I kissed her breasts and she laughed like a ripple from the boat.  She lifted her hand to take my cock and brought her lips to kiss me.  It was not the heat of the day, my dearest, but the heat of the instant.  It was not the lulling sway of the boat, but the rhythmic fuckings, the tasting and swirling licks, the taking and giving of.  Desire, Margaret.

Yet I am here.  Writing to you, my dearest.  I ask not forgiveness, but understanding.  I am a human man, no more, but no less.  Come to me.

Your loving stepson

Copyright 1999 by W.  S.  Dean.  All rights reserved.  Not to be distributed, reproduced, or transmitted in any manner without the express written permission from the author.

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: The legal defintion of incest is: Nonforcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.  There are, to my knowledge, NO legal restrictions prohibiting the marriage of stepson and mother, where the relationship has altered due to widowhood or divorce from the son’s blood-father. While society may look askance, it cannot legally proscribe the relationship depicted in the above story.]


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