Little Death

“Fate or faith?” you ask, as you rest your head in my lap.

“I can’t answer that,” I say. “They are hopelessly entangled in an eternal, infernal knot.”

“Is there such a thing as free will?” you murmur. My fingers soothe as they run through your dark hair. “When the options are freedom and death or law and life…”

“There’s a difference between freedom and free will,” I say and lean over to kiss your lips. You taste like smoke but I don’t mind it. “No one is truly free. But we are free to choose, even if we don’t like the consequences.”

“What do you think happens to us when we die?” Your voice is so soft I barely make out the question. I trail a finger down the center of your face -between your eyes, along your nose and over your lips. You part them and let me touch the tip of your tongue.

“For dust you are and to dust you will return…” I paraphrase scripture. “There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave.”

You turn in my lap to face me, circle your arms around me, let your hands find the cleft of my bottom. I feel your warm breath against the skin of my belly. I want to make love to you, make you forget about death.

“I’m desperate not to believe that,” you say.

“Are you afraid?”


“The only ones who have death to fear are those of faith, my love. Have they been good enough to receive a reward? Or have their failings doomed them to eternal punishment? Heaven and hell hang over them like Damocles’ sword.” I draw in a sharp breath as your clever fingers caress. Your beard tickles the tops of my thighs. “We who hope for nothing, can face death without distress.”

“Hmmm… how so?”

“We shall know nothing, feel nothing as we dissolve into molecules and atoms, as we return to the ground and…” I gasp. You cut off my words as you burrow between my legs. “…and our waters evaporate into thin air.”

“Mmmm, well… while you still have waters, I’d like a sip.”

“Why are we having this conversation?” I ask, gripping your hair.

“Because I might just die of love.”

Header Image: Figures at Seaside ~ Pablo Picasso


The predator stalks his innocent prey

With preternatural vision, the moon lights the way

Does his breath reach her ear?

Stop still, smell her fear…

Till his hunger he cannot keep at bay

Hues of grey and blue

Le Retour a la Raison – Man Ray 1923

She lay across the bed, arms above her head, draped in thin silk and awash in moonlight shining through the window. The shadows from its mullions gave her form the appearance of being caged. He stood in the doorway, tie undone, shirt collar open and listened to her soft breathing. Everything was cool, in hues of grey and blue –her skin, her pale blonde hair, the sheets. Even the points of her nipples pushing against the filmy fabric. Her right leg was bent at the knee, opening her legs just enough to invite him. He slid out of his suit coat and tossed it aside.