If the Sun and the Moon used all their power to marry the Earth and the sky, each caressing the other while bathed in light and grace, a landscape such as the one before me now would surely develop.
A sharp line falls gently from her ear to her chin. When she is turned on her side and asleep, like she is now, it is an eastwardly convex outline, a crisp coastline cliff dropping off completely to a strong neck that finally melts into the water, grey and warm. I often sit looking at the landscape and wonder if it is not this cut coast, which as it dips down to its cape continues up the other side to oppositely position itself about her nose, that draws me to watch it for so long and be so stricken with its shape.
The heart that my finger traces (up her cheekbone, down the coast, and around cape to do the same on the other side) is only slightly distorted when her lips curl up on one side and the indented arrow wound from one particularly mischievous adolescent god appears just above and to the right of her mouth, but she is still and quiet. There is no smiling or movement at all except for the rise and fall of her chest.
Venturing even further North and higher in altitude is the topmost peak. It looks out on the wide square upon which this body of land floats. The peak is triangular and slim, which, depending on the weather and health of the soil, turns a peachy color when irritated. A bridge connects it to a plateau north of two slim patches of dark grassland.
Sharply down below the peak of the nose is situated a small indent from which flows the first of two lips. The second is just south of the first and positioned neatly against it creating a small canyon. The northern rim of the canyon peaks more acutely than its southern counterpart and is hardly, though still, thinner. Together they are dynamic and generally help with determining the state of the land, though it is true that the Earth can be more thoroughly understood by two, somewhat separated, burnished almond gemstones significantly more north. This canyon — the lips, if the metaphor sustains — is where I return in the face of fear, anxiety, or bad weather because out from them flow words and feelings with which I wrap myself for comfort.
Back up and above the highest peak are the aforementioned almond gems presently protected by some of the softest space on the island. As night falls, or as a particularly vibrant emotion overcomes the body, the covers might close over them. Though now they are hidden, in light, Oh! in the light how they shine! Perhaps it is these that draw me in so often! The strong, numinous, and precious jewels are the bait at which my body bites, piercing each muscle when they cleave my head and reach my heart. Like heavy and sweet molasses, these windows into the soul of the island, the most secret and most divine abstract manifestation of feeling pour their influence into me with fervor. I follow them deep to where they lead me: past the dripping clocks of stretched time, past locks on chains to be opened slowly and carefully with trust and feeling, past boredom and excitement into a space where it seems few people have been: the shadowlands of someone else, the expansive reserves of quelled passion and unexpressed intention. Here, somewhere far, far away, past the light, through a dark forest and out the other side of my comfort zone, I have repeatedly found myself.
But now, still, her eyes are closed. Sepia diamonds, covered over by earth-flesh and guarded by a quick wit with plenty of emotional space, are yet to be opened this morning. I can lean over and move hair out of her face, slide it down past the coastline on the East side, and rest it behind her ears. My hand traces down over the texture of her skin, feeling all the warmth that beams from what makes her, her. Then slowing, in a gentle ritard, my hand settles upon hers. These hands have loved and felt. These hands have been frustrated and tense and clenched into fists, and these hands have crossed the waters to hold my face and quiet wild storms.
In the last hour or so, the heavy grey clouds that once covered and warmed her have blown due East to a separate body, mine. Just as I would move mountains, I move, for her, the clouds. We separate and I will them over and conceal everything except the striking landscape of her face, so we are both submerged in warmth. It must be from this that placidity is adorned its definition.
I let my imagination return to me after this short exploration of what lies beside me still and at peace. It’s cold beyond the clouds, but I scamper out to play a record. Each step seems miles and miles away from where I belong. Bare and afraid in the face of loneliness, I return and wrap myself up next to her, reheating from what was all too long of a departure. I softly return my hand to hers, and, in the first indication of movement other than the rise and fall of her chest, her hand closes on mine, fingers locked in perfect organization like holiday lights: her finger, mine, hers, mine. Green, red, green, red. Spotlights of sun illuminate dust particles in the room and cast upon her elegant rays. All at once perfection meets its counterpart.
In an overwhelming succession her eyes open and she smiles. She can tell I’ve watched her wake up. She always asks me the same question about what I’m thinking, but my tongue ties every time she does. For all my thinking and wondering, for all the wandering my imagination does over the island of her body laying down next to me I could never explain to her the gravity of a moment so beautiful as the one we’re sharing now. Every time I gaze into nothing or lose myself in her eyes, she asks me about it knowing full well I don’t know how to answer, just like she’s about to right now.
“A penny for your thoughts?” she asks.