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Karen Runge 2   PDF  Print  E-mail 


Karen Runge

The War With Snow

I want to surround myself with chaos.

In the tangle of my living room, the patchwork blanket I've known since I was a child lies rumpled in the middle of the floor, crochet holes a thousand black eyes against the gray shapes and vague images of this space I have darkened, this place I have coated with shades - blinds ceiled shut like vertical visors; door closed - a lightless room.

And I lie in the middle, I lie naked on the floor, burrowing my nose into the blanket that somehow has never lost the smell of my childhood. Burying my soul in this tragedy, this loss of something I have never felt or known.

I think maybe... when he awakens me... I'll be too afraid to touch.


Landscapes, dream planes, patchwork through my head.

He runs his hands down my stomach, and when I feel my skin shiver from his warmth I glimpse green fields, rolling hills up high to the sky - for an instant, I can smell the grass.

I open my eyes, and the WATCHING expression on his face jolts me back. I'm a little cold, even though he holds me. I'm a little vulnerable, knowing that he sees me.

"Let go," he whispers, and his hand pushes between my legs. I'm wet, too wet almost - this makes him smile at me, and I run my hand down his throat, to his chest. My hands are soft and warm. This is me. He makes me gasp a little, fight a little, and in the struggle with motion, he makes me really BREATHE.

"Move," he coaxes, and I move on his hand; the apex point of my little girl between my legs suddenly rising and vibrant, stealing all my sensation to be swallowed into that one point, to make me whimper a little, and want him a little more-

And its mountain valleys, snow dusting my shoulders, and my whole body HOT - running naked through the trail, passing winter trees that look black and broken against the white with no green, and everywhere I step as I run, I feel the snow melting beneath my feet.

These are the gates to the Happiest Place, this road is taking me there... I want to knock on the door, ask God permission to come inside and sit with Him for a while-

And my hips rise up off the floor, and now I'm GASPING -

God looks at me with His affectionate eyes, saying 'Sure, come on in and see... or be... perfection, for these few moments I see you tangle so tight to reach -'

And now I'm smiling, poised on the brink and about to leap off the mountain ledge; vines of sensation winding themselves around me, hurting a little in my abdomen, curling up and across my stomach, through the curve of my ribs where they begin to rise, and lashed around my nipples, my breasts -

But he chooses now, and he says something to me. He tells me I move like a banished angel, remembering how I used to fly. He tells me I move like the sacred and the forgotten, precious and tainted against his chest.


"What's wrong?"

I'm a little more still now, vines creeping back, retreating, leaving me cold in all the places they just touched. I try to stop them, grab them by the leaves, but they snap and break off in my fingers.

I must tell myself that this time I'm in a safe place, but I know that now that I've wounded the tree, those precious vines will be harder to coax out again next time.

"Where did you go?" he asks me. "Did you make it?"


Did I make it?

Harsh and hollow, this pain that gnaws at my pleasure points.

Did I make it?

Maybe... maybe just a little....


Blood and screaming but for different reasons now, because I want to RIP THE SKY DOWN and wrap it like silk and ecstasy around my body; I want to tear the ground up until I reach the heat that burns at its center, and throw my body against those flames until its torture, its agony, but I want chaos, I want madness, I want loss of control and fuck you because YOU CAN'T HELP ME but ALL I WANT IS TO REALLY FUCKING FEEL -


Love me; he's gentle.

He holds himself against me to ease my sense of failure, now his hands soft and warm on me. On my back, he moves like a tight-wound cord of satin, hard and careful inside of me.

He's beautiful there, he belongs there, and I hold his face in my hands to kiss him with words that no language can carry.

Broken vines start reconnecting, tendrils take hold, knotting, TIGHT -

My shins up against his chest; he has sunlight in his eyes.

I think I glimpse those valley fields.

I think, running my hands down his shoulders, his back; I think of my minds-eye landscapes; they glimpse their way through my sacred visions.

And there, in the tiny rivulets of sweat washing warm down his spine, I think I can feel the trickle of melted snow.