by A. CARTERS
Naked, stuck to the lino, I can hear the sun. Laying on
the kitchen floor, open fridge door, feet stacked on the bottom shelf. Windows wide, curtains closed. Streaks of heat intruding with the breeze, cook patches of the carpet in the lounge. Melting ice cubes on my nipples make trails to the pool in my bellybutton.
It’s hot, the air is wet – I fucking hate this botch-job apartment. Cold water runs lukewarm in summer. Aircon runs up the power bill. Fan runs flat-out. I fucking hate the glands in my armpits crying any time the temperate clicks above 20. I fucking hate humidity – it coats the skin. Greasy, I feel claustrophobic. I say no thank you to sunblock, moisturiser, makeup, bras, tight singlets, turtle necks, skinny jeans. It’s too close to my skin. SWEAT. I was the kid in high school who actually used the shower block for showers – not durries, drugs and depressive episodes. The last cubicle on the left after every P.E. class. Wash away the grime. I hate a sweaty forehead with my hair pasted to it. Salty lips. Boobs sticking to my stomach. My gluggy body beached on any surface. Wet and uncomfortable.
I don’t not like myself. I don’t like the humidity.
By the time she’s home I’ve relocated to the lounge. Laying. Still naked. Slightly cooler. Music playing. Fan blasting. She drops her keys at the door, trips over her shoes, shirt over her head and peeled down her arms. Into the bathroom. I hear the shower go on.
She dances back into the lounge. I unstick my head from the arm rest. Reaching for her. Naked in front of me, droplets cascading down her waist, tracing stretch-marks, falling to the carpet. Her brown hair rains down on my face as she kisses and licks my mouth. Bites my cheeks and pulls on my ear.
Hands either side of my head she slips her legs over mine. On top of me, she pulls her hair back and pinches at the strands stuck to her lips. A grin. Those fucking dimples. Tiny pockets of mischief on either side of that cheeky smile. She asks if I want her. Of course I fucking do. She rocks against my thigh. Dripping wet, her skin glides against mine. Is it water from the shower or my sweat? Her clit finds my hip.
I think it’s too hot for this.
The lounge is muggy again. The couch a sponge damp with breath. The fan circulating sex. Thickening the air. I don’t mind the heat. Radiating off of her. My breasts flatten underneath her. I like my body more when it’s pushed against hers. Slick skin, red cheeks, swollen lips. Fingertips marking fingerprints. Drawing pictures on her back. Breathing out heatwaves to breathe them back in.
Negative self-talk ebbs and flows. Her heart beating
against mine makes shame-spirals slow. I kiss her scars and connect her moles. Her waist in the grip of my hands and the crease of her back flickers with each touch.
She hides herself at times. In similar ways to how I do. I look at her and wonder why she would. Scrunching and contorting to unbind from an image. An image that only she can see.
Is that the same with me?
It’s summer even without the sun. Pink and purple clouds printed across the sky. Soft bruises from the painfully hot day.
My feet steam impressions on the bathroom tiles. Turn on the cold tap. Twist the handle further. The pressure drizzles. Duck behind the curtain and under the falling water. I suck in a mouthful of cold relief and spit it at
I hear the shower curtain scratch along its rod. She softens into my back. Her arms wrap and meet at my bellybutton. Monkey grip.
Each touch between us is a dose of something unconditional.
Something we’ll find for ourselves too.