“Oh dear, oh dear,” a cherry little bump of a girl squeaks, and Jimmy
Bear-Walking-Backwards pays attention. I’ve been told that I’m wearing a provocative
blue number with midnight piping, but it’s not enough for Jimmy, so I leave the party. An
attractive local storm follows me down to the creek and has its way with me. He’s a
pleasant little trench-runner if you slow him down after the first eruption. There’s a
sensitivity emerges if you keep him diving slowly. I dab at him and get a little twinkled,
so I rummage around in his trunk and locate the valuables, but they’re not as valuable as I
thought they were.
His winks are a bit tiddly, but this time I’ll make myself sweeter. Like a gentle caress the
wind offers that becomes a hand before you know what’s happening. He gives me
something that fits inside, right along with his swollen appendage. It doesn’t flop out
afterwards, and I carry it around like a secret. I get tired of Jimmy’s dramatic
exclamations of ordinary joy. They don’t mind repeating themselves, but I do.
The impatient river is swallowing air and burping so constantly no one notices.
They think it’s normal behavior. It gets where it’s going before I do. Hi ho, Mr.
Snibbly-Face, Mr. Do-As-You-Please, I can’t be expected to provide all the perfumes, all
the clever lubrications. Jimmy’s impatient. He’s got no time for subtle transitions.
Brother Big-Toad and Brother Little-Toad are trying to hatch a pile of white eggs. I
don’t know if they’re even theirs or not. Jimmy’s got a similar habit that makes him feel
guilty. It’s hard to understand what it has to do with love, but they’re both there in the
same little carnival. You could see that the shadows were no longer flirting. It wasn’t the
first time. I can never remember if they were inspired by passion or disturbing
invasions of my privacy. What’s the difference? The rope burns humiliate me and make
me wet. If I think of myself as a slut, it’s not as exciting as if someone else does.
It’s not enough that Jimmy had planted a barren tree and it had come to life. It’s not
enough that every Wednesday he talks to no one but me. It’s not enough to defend
Jimmy’s impatient. Jimmy’s already there.
The fat one has a plan and it wants me to pet the reclining one. He is sickly and can
be shared by several. I will take him outside himself and see if he can live there. I will
share the property and make use of the lost pounds because they always return and they
bring their friends. The one I want is coming into his own now. He is unaware of the
arrangement. He can be convinced I am available only to him. He can be withheld.
Some peopling of the fur is required before consummation of the refreshment it can
provide. The edge of the attendant conversation can wander and interfere with the
gestures of resplendency.
I wish to appear to be making an effort. I want to be seen as responsive if not adept,
considerate if not instinctive.
I rub Jimmy’s pond around the edges and it seems gentle and sleepy and it doesn’t
seem to know if I’m anything that wasn’t there before. I’m not because I’m there before I
know I’m there.
Recurring measure of lathered human fabric, release thy steeple of need, relentless
and inevitable as winter in its knowledge of otherness.
I can be completed without intentions.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.