Monday, December 7, 2009

A Midsummer Night's Dream

We are on a picnic.  By the lake you grew up near.   I am wearing a summer dress, a few Hail Mary’s above my ankles, while you are getting burnt behind the knees.  You are feeding me the fleshy part of a peach.  The juice dribbles down my chin and melts into my neck.  A bee thinks I’m nectar, buzzing over breasts like arched petals, but it is your tongue tasting honey some minutes later.  In that soft crescent behind my ear.

The cicadas urge us on.  The woods pulse and hum.

Your hand disappears under my skirt.  My thighs part like gloves.  The rolling pressure of your thumb is the fulcrum upon which my life sees and saws.  You take your time.  Lips full above me, the sun a halo around your head.  Your eyes two magnets for an open-mouthed gaze.  My neck cranes for you, but you understand that anticipation is the soul of desire.  You want me to reach so long and sweet for it—for you—that when we touch, time is warped and confused.  And briefly breaks up.

I bend to the winds of a thumb and cupped palm.  I suck your name from the pulp on my tongue.  A skirt conceals nothing from trees and ice water.  I am open.  Undone.  Your hand is blood sunshine.  Evolution feeds on me, base pairs flipping and cartwheeling and slipping new bonds.

The thumb, the palm, is not enough. I want more.  I need . . .


I ask you for it.


Please . . .

Your lips are sweeter than the fruit.  Your tongue tastes like my neck.  Your body, moving with mine, is a leaf flowing down a river’s song.

On a Sunday afternoon.


I take you to the water.

A part of me wants to tell you that this was the place where I learned to be a man.  A part of me is close to telling it.  But I can’t tell you that.

Instead, we skip rocks on the water.  And hunt for salamanders beneath the wet earth.   We lay down our blanket, open a wicker basket, and talk about why people don’t take picnics anymore.  You say it’s because they’ve forgotten how.  I say it’s because people believe in irony more than sentiment anymore.   Either way, we’re both feeling good, if a little superior.  Which I don’t mind.  Because let’s face it—we are right now.

I try to imagine what my boyhood self would think of my being here.  With you.  I think he’d be scared.  And electrified.

I could touch you all day long.  Your knees, round and brown from the summer.  Your pretty ankles, uncrossing like a broken promise.  The richness of your thighs.   The spreading dampness on your





I am restrained because I sense you want me to be.  I am not a boy any longer.

When you finally reach for me, when you finally open to me, I want to push as hard as the cicadas.   I want to fill the forest with a storm.  I want, I want—

Instead, I breathe your name.


I answer you.


This is another excerpt from the new novel, since that's what I'm focused on right now.  I figured we could use some warmth, too, now that winter is setting in!


Karen said...

Well...the smoke's rising from my screen right now! I do not know how you do this. I could no more write this scene than I could fly -- and now I know what you mean about your parents ;-) .

I love the distinctive voices adn seeing this from their points of view. It's interesting that she is so much more descriptive, focused on each sensation than he, who is thinking of the past whether or not he should reveal to her.

No wonder you're living in your novel right now! Why would you leave??

Karen said...

Sorry about the typos - look at the time!

the walking man said...

Jaysus I am so distracted I forget your name...OK I took a moment and lit a cigarette and it came back ...Sarah...this pulls so completely to the erotic but not the pornographic that this single section alone is enough to sell the whole book.

Not because of the sexual but the whole scene is set so perfectly in the readers mind. Male-female makes no difference we are right in it from the first word.

catvibe said...

Oh I turn to you for lessons in erotica. I have so much to learn! This is delicious, and like WM said, so beautifully not pornographic.

And the setting! Beautifully rendered! I can't wait to read this book.

Stephen Parrish said...

I figured we could use some warmth, too, now that winter is setting in!

Warmth? You call that warmth? I hope, if I go to Hell, it's not you stoking the fire.

You rite gud.

Charles Gramlich said...

I could use more Sunday's like that one.

Sarah Hina said...

Karen, no worries! I'm dead to the world at that time of day. :)

This book will be punctuated by these highly idealized, dreamlike sequences. Funnily enough, I'm not even upon this scene from a chronological perspective. But this was the first scene I wrote to get those fires burning. It worked!

Thank you, Karen! And yes, somewhere my mother is clicking her tongue. Repeatedly. ;)

Mark, you could have stopped at "Jaysus" and it woulda ranked in my top five Mark comments of all time. Which is saying something, you know.

Thank you. "Erotic but not pornographic" is exactly what I wanted here. Plus, you gave me a big smile. :)

Cat, I will say unabashedly that I loved writing this scene. I felt a little buzzed from the experience.

Am glad you felt the same while reading it. Thank you!! :)

Steve, I've read (parts of) The Old Testament. Thou shalt have no mercy!

Gud ritin' was easy in this scene, but thanks.

Charles, couldn't we all.

Aniket said...


This is deh-lichious writing. I could just swallow it all and not even wait to bite it.

Do not forget to print "Viewer discretion is advised" on the cover, will ya? You're killing everything inside.

Now I know which page to bookmark for bedside reading once I'm married. :P

You surely are on the hot-tamally train with this one! Woooooo-hoooooooooo!!!!

Margaret said...

WOW Sarah! This is amazingly beautiful. I love the way we get to hear the thoughts of not only one of them but both. That brings us deeper into their intimacy.

You certainly warmed up the chilly winter day for me!

Sarah Hina said...

Aniket, no matter how crappy the day, you never fail to make me smile. :) I know I've said it before, but future Mrs. Aniket is one lucky lady...and then some.

I'm glad you were so, ahem, enthusiastic about this one. It was the scene that inspired the rest of the novel for me!

And yessiree, I'm gonna keep riding that train. ;)

Margaret, it was cold and blustery here, too, so I'm happy to know I could spread a little warmth! :)

I'm going to be alternating between these two characters throughout the book. I'm so glad it worked for you! Thanks a bunch, Margaret.

Jennifer said...

Okay, Sarah, this was a little, um, different from the popcorn piece! :)

Wow. I mean seriously wow. I know it's not the most intelligent of responses, but there you go. Now you are going to make me impatient to read your NEXT book, when I am already doing my best to wait for the first.

I love the "few Hail Mary's above my ankles." But maybe that's the former Catholic in me. ;)

Sarah Hina said...

Jennifer, "wow" just so happens to be my favorite superlative. :D

I hope this book will be better than Plum Blossoms. I hope. I'd like for that to be the case with every new book. But it's hard to be objective at all.

Still, your comments make me feel like I might be on the right path! Thank you, Jennifer. :)

Vesper said...

Sarah, wow! Since this is your favourite superlative, then I'll say it again... wow!