(i took some objectifying and selfish notes about men i meet in the streets on summer evenings, when i took my beauty for a walk around the block last nite. i pay you back here for doing this to me without end.)
to you, men i see across the road, who make my hands a bit sweaty, just between the index finger and the thumb, in this small valley that moistens when we pass each other; and you might blush (if you can). no one could ever feel this moistness but i do. i know it’s there; it’s because of you. i love you, men on a summer evening, the way you make space to admire my stride, your flirtatious mood, i like your sunburnt skin and your out-of-breath-ness, as it’s hot here, hot. it’s gonna be. i like watching you from behind when you walk some steps before me in linen trousers, one hand in a pocket, and me taking the other one. i like the way you sit in a café chair and think no one is watching. i am. i like the way you look at my small breasts, tight in expectation, the curves in my body, my legs on their way. i like you, young men, when i can hint the old man in you in years to come, and smile at the thought of doing you twice, now and then, or always.
and these days i particularly like you, elderly men, whose wives are at home, or on a stroll as well. i like you, skinny men with your fine trousers and ironed shirts, i like the black leather you wear around your wrist (winterson wrote: ‘love like wristcords’) and the trace of your cologne in the air. i like the rolled-up sleeves you sport with a pack of tobacco somewhere in reach, i like your naked feet; i like the lines of your skin, from weather, the summer of 1976, occasionally from hardship. i can touch them. i like your scars, and the scars you left others with. the fact you were there before i entered this world turns me on, as some kind of reverse penetration. i like your hunger for flesh which isn’t able to eat any more as it used to, gnawing on young bones and leaving them for the next when you had your fill. we share this. i like your carnivorous self-esteem that lost a bit of its verve, it quiets me and reminds me of death, a depth i cherish in imaginary intimate encounters. i like your eyes that speak of knowing something and more. i like the tranquillity you walk in and the sense that you will have enough books at home to satisfy me.
but i also like you, summer boys in your twenties, who look like going to italy and having a sweet life and nothing more; some laughter, vine and ice-cream added, boat rides with the short- and longhaired girls we’ll share. you, young men, with your firm step of owning the world and the time to stop, as there will be a tomorrow, you believe. i like you all, you who make my hand a bit moist and send a hint right through my body, the idea of teasing pleasures; the walks in wetlands, the bondage of yours and mine.