A Book About Forever


          It has been four days of hearing you

Your laughter filling me up from where my toes end to where thoughts begin
Your early days stories
Taking me into long forgotten tales of my own
Memories and wonders and hopes and delights
Slipping between us like forever is still an infant
Like these old bones are not creaking
Like all my teeth are still where they used to be

           I am not in a hurry to be the old man that I was before 
    Before you smiled  when hearing my laughter  just a few feet away
 Standing in the same aisle   Standing in the same dusty pathway of knowledge

You: forgetting about the Orishas and JuJu women book
Forgetting about the heat of the day and the market booths
Forgetting about the drum circle men and women keeping their thunder
Between their knees and wrap-skirts and welcoming rhythms

         They are all around us
         But we are alone
     Just you and your smiling to yourself about the ways I am making you want thunder

In your breasts thru your belly between your thighs

          Later   after our third night 
     You will tell me of how you surrendered  all of your old fears  to my laughter
How you spent a journey of steps  backward toward the savoring sound of it
          How you pressed your palm to your belly  exposed by your tied off shirt  
    How your fingers played along  and said that my tongue would trace your navel
   And spill cups of whispers  into you  with the same   heavy  baritone  and bouncing joy
       How you turned your face toward  me   and parted your lips  intending to say your name
  But  instead    you swallowed up the view of my walking  and  taking   you   in

Me: this is what the dreams of aloneness have taught me
And I have watched you saunter beyond and back to me twice already
You are in desire mode you came wanting knowledge of mysterious things and women
Somewhere you have reasoned that another book is waiting for you
I can see it in the way you come to the end of the shelves and take the corner toward home
In watching you I want to know that manner of thirst that way of having the tongue surrendered
That opening up and taking in of things anew

        Later    after our third night
   I will let free every thought and want of you 
               From this first moment of you  amongst these books of our people
     You are already   forever   known to me for the way you want words  around you
  The way you steady yourself and touch each spine 
                 in the same way that you will read the curve of me thru a wet towel on day seven
          already    everything  that I knew before seeing you searching   has been lost

and there is only come whatever will come whatever may

            so… I ask for the title of the book that would send you on such a journey
 and I listen when you turn your face up to me and say

              that you are looking for book about forever
          and it seems to be written  on the sound of my laughter

.Jas Mardis 2022

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