Copyright, Susannah Indigo, 2000, all rights reserved.

My lover burns for things I can not give -- Japanese
lanterns of red and gold, small silver bells draped
across my belly to ring when I come, a loft filled with
art, a sweet baby child, the secret to my heart. But
there are stories too dark to be told, and too many
castle doors unlocked by keys that were not gold.

Do you remember, the wise woman says, that your
legs are the ring that circles your love, pulls him down
and in and back around, completing the wheel of sex and love
and mysteries unbound. Be still and listen,
she says,
and you will know which way to go.

Once I had a lover who called me blue. He played the guitar
and thought deeply and had small baby children of his own. He
wore black gloves and had fingers that knew exactly what to do,
but he was too slow for a woman who wraps the tendrils of her heart
around a man's shoes and looks for a blanket of stars to appear
before she can determine if anything is true.

There is a pattern to things, my lover says, and we must learn to
repeat the best parts and let the rest be. There is a pattern to things,
I tell him, but we only see the things we want to see.

In Mexico I saw the butterfly-dance, la mariposa, danced by a naked
brown-skinned woman painted and feathered with pine tar. She moved
to the beat of the round leather drum, flying to the rhythm of the
butterflies, a feather fan in one hand, a bowl of corn meal in the
other. She wore bright red wings strapped around her neck, and the
sun setting through the trees built shadows for her to dance in. She
pollinated the earth, sprinkling corn meal over everyone while the
drummers beat on, and I wanted her to fuck me right there on the
ground while the crowd watched and cheered us on.

For many years I had a lover near the ocean who would phone me promptly
at nine in the morning and make love to me. I never made an appointment
before ten. He called me baby until I thought that was my name.
Sometimes I would stare out the window while he told me what to do,
watching birds, rain, snow, falling leaves from the aspen tree, anything
but myself, ignoring the fact that I was lying on the pale carpet lifting
my skirt to touch myself while the rest of the world went off to work.
I would listen to his words , spread your legs baby, and get shy,
hear them and imagine I was one of the green and gold butterflies that
sometimes landed on the branches as I began to fly.

I did everything he said to do until my dreams began to rise above the
house and lift me up to the sky with them. I began to live fully in my
imagination because I knew he was there in the room with me, his weight
pressing into me from above, his hands under my skirt, spread
your legs baby ,
his lips on mine, and the day would go dizzy and wild
until I was sure that mirrors would kiss me back if I looked into them
because I was so hopelessly in love.

There were silver bells draped in every corner of the sky when I
rested at last on the shore of his body. But my nine o'clock lover who
was going to keep me safe for all of our lives quickly got lost
in the mist of reality and I was left with the vision of butterflies and
green lace ribbons and barely enough hope to survive.

Be still and listen and you will know which way to go.

The man at the Riviera called me annie and never knew my real name.
I thought that was sexy, like a little girl playing dress-up in her gypsy
clothes, beating her tambourine to the rhythm of anyone but herself.
He had the biggest cock I had ever seen on a man, like a porn star
except that he was a lawyer and once a baseball player. He pulled
me up on my tiptoes with his fist in my hair so I could kiss his
lips and he gave me a collar and tried to own me, but he forgot
to read my words and then I was free.

baby, annie, sweetheart, blue, these are not names that are true.
There are blues meant for silk and those meant for tears, but none of
them will carry you through one more year.

A lack of passion makes you small, the wise woman says. Your eyes
must open to the wild purple orchids that have the power to pull you down
below. Be still and listen and you will know which way to go. There is someone
watching in your hidden corner. In the crook of his body you will find your
religion, and you will pray in a way that removes all the memories,
pray until you forget your own name, worship until the glittering dark
is all that you know, and your night will be filled with
and with gold.

Copyright, Susannah Indigo, 2000, all rights reserved.