3 May 2010 – Black Kites – A Tango… It is an old mars lumograph.

An 8B lead and coal mixture, so that it doesn’t break and flake across the white ivory sheets. It serves well. The strokes are hard and try to be precise. But they seem to waver just as they’re tapering off or attempting to shift their weight from paper to person. The person isn’t doing his bit to help either. He keeps dipping the tip in the clairet beside him and then bringing it to his lips. Something about the coal and heady acidity of the wine keeps him going. The flavor remains intoxicating at the tip of the tongue and stains the corner of his lips. The wetness of the coal tip merges with what remains of the wine on it and smudges on the paper, broadly, darkly. It was easy to mistake the broad, precise, tapering strokes for brush strokes but that is what he wants people to do. He wants people to make mistakes. He likes being the one orchestrating their mistake. He hadn’t been able to orchestrate his own. He’s working on a portrait. Darkening the wild mountain curves of black hair, finishing the cupid’s bow of a full mouth, letting the wistfulness of the eyes glisten a bit with specks of pale red from the wine stains; his hand trembles as he approaches completion, and he can feel the beginnings of a shiver at the base of his spine. Yes. This was different. She was special. Known and unknown. He tipped the glass of wine carefully over the hair, controlling the flow, and then dipping a calligraphy brush in ink to smudge and dry with the wine and shadows of her face. He wasn’t just making a portrait. He was hoping. Perhaps he could recreate the flavor of her lips against his, remember the earthy tanginess of her breath. Maybe, just maybe, if someone leaned in close enough to this picture, they could smell her. He could smell her. They’d know how intoxicated he’s felt. They’d probably guess at how his pulse quickened, his fingers trembled as he felt her quake beneath him. They might guess at the aroma that has buried itself in the layers of his skin. Salty, piquant, spicy, spirited. He could feel the words roll of his tongue as much as his tongue contorted itself in memory of the flavors it loved. Vintage wine. Vivacious woman. He bit his lips, wiped away the stain of coal and lead at the corner of his lip and exhaled slowly and long. He calmed for a while. Added further touches with wine, ink and coal. Pouring sometimes from a bottle of darker merlot and sometimes drinking from the clairet before flecking it specifically. He wanted this done and over with. She needed to get out of his system. Just out. He had to move on. She couldn’t stay with him then, he wasn’t going to carry on with her now. Just this last indulgence. Just this last curvature of the lips, this last deep shadow along the collar bone, this last outline of her jaw, this would be the last. The last. He’d be done. He’d be wasted enough not to care anymore. He swung the glass of clairet to his stained lips and drank in large gulps. And when he had reached the last drop, he bit into the rim and clung to the glass, looking through it as he finished the portrait. He liked the uncertainty of his line of vision. She was, is, an uncertainty. This uncertainty would also be among his last indulgences. Part of his purge. He’d never known the jaded naivete before her. He wanted to assume it was a cultural phenomenon now but he’d never known it after her. Her explosive laughter that knew how to control and manipulate its pitch according to the company it entertained, the slightly cocked left eyebrow, the sidelong glance

Like coming home.as she slept curled up inside him. He has been wasted. His hands knocks something over. He was so oblivious to the world around him when he worked. She felt good. before she licked it off. He feels a swoon. He hears the shattering of glass. lock his fingers. He had been working. the play of words and phrases that lit up her face. His lips had done that once. He doesn’t know. so he impatiently mixes the merlot with it and on an impulse pours in some vodka. Now she frowns and pokes again. She squatted amongst the squalor. The cold water made her feel fresh. folding her arms around her knees. She strolled into his house. He passes out. Like peace. caged in by the very sensations. half sadly. swooping down the lines that define her shoulder. her smile as she kissed him. This was hers. He knows it’ll fan out against his shoulder blades. happily calm. No twitches or tics. cocking her head to the left and stared at his sleeping form. But the buzz is immediate. So peaceful. the light floral dress that flapped around her with a mind of its own. reach out slowly in the space that separates them and pokes his nose. He snapped out of the memory. He’ll be forced to stay caged in her memory. her neck. the scents. She picked up a green apple on her way out. The coal was still on his tongue and this mixed assault practically chokes him. crisp and the white linen dress caressed against her bare body lovingly. *** 10 a. when he was whipping himself into a fever. Extraordinarily. A mischievous impulse makes her grin. He had to. He was hers. this time his cheek. No response. And every moment flashes before him with startling lucidity.dare he call it a smile . The heat of her breath against his neck. His skin feels wet. the flavors that he was trying to escape. Now the same urgency before a convulsion. It happens. He is caged. Bit it into it lustily. As superciliously as always. the precision with which she applied kohl. her laughter ringing in his ears. Again letting the juices drip. . leaving the bitter sweet juices there for a while.with the sneering half smile. the sway of her hips as she teased him. Just a peaceful child by his side. He can feel it advancing through each vertebrae level and he dreads the moment it reaches his nape. the past pleasures. She’d been up reading all night and felt an odd sense of calm. and the shiver that was at the base of his spine begins to crawl upwards.m. She took another large bite as she walked to his cottage. Something. She was right. Pours himself another glass of clairet but it didn’t quite fill. the way she always felt like home. It was a mess. paralyze his arms. her unmanageable straight hair that she always fidgeted with. thicker than ink. She knew he’d been up too. letting the juice drip on her lips. Beautiful. half jokingly at what she took for granted in him. The wine’s vermillion and red is mixing with something darker. electrified her body and the greatest surprise – the tiny upward curves at the corners of her lips . She rocked her head. again letting their sticky sweetness moisten her lips before licking them off. His fingers clutch at the brush. something wet spreads fungal like across his work space.

set a kettle of coffee to boil and with its whistle.He grunts and shifts. the ink… why did he always do this? He brooded to the point of destruction. It’ll be fine. wake him. or with devnagri letterings of Ghalib’s poetry with modern whirlpools of wastelands and confused souls or something universally visceral and yet not. He’d hate her more when he woke up. as the nightmare that refused to part from her soul. He’d turned her into a creature.he was dreaming. She had become one of his black kites. couldn’t rather. the calligraphy brush. Disturbingly beautiful. His black kites were his masterpieces. These beautiful horrors soared through kite festivals and art shows. She lets a sigh escape as she begins clearing things away. her vitalist. But he’ll purge her in a kite or portrait accordingly. He covered everyone in his design. They’d stay this way. obscuring the light and casting monstrous shadows across the peopled pavements. her breath. The broken glass rolls off his desk. a thing of ravishing thrall. Yes. the brushes. Layering. as the vision of a companion through lifetimes. always something alien and yet part of the plight of humanity. his images.Arranged the unfinished kites. when she knew he’d only feel her presence. they were what had turned him into a legend. Something daemonic. his fury. the ink. the completed portrait. wrapped them up with his words. Stared at his half shut twitching eyes . In the climaxes of his spasm he’d completed her. the half open lips always on the verge of revealing something clandestine –evil therefore enchanting. The delicate paper was intricately decorated with silk thread and calligraphic embossing and etchings. Then. She gets up and looks around her. He’s alive. just not her – that was when she came to him. dotting the skies. She brushed his hair back with her fingers as she gnawed at the pit of the apple. Never together. his own anomaly of life. she. sometimes ancient. Like now. Shards of the wine glass. She always returned to him. Him purging her. She finished cleaning up the workspace . twisting it with layers of psalms or proverbs from hell. other times fiercely modern. in his version of reality. the spilt bottles of merlot and clairet. They sold the most. She knew the red-brown eyes that would stare back. He’d know she was here. cleaning up his purges as he slept. . the last of the wine staining the carpet with fanned droplets. now. Not together. That was why she had left. The grin dies. They were beautiful. stripping and then layering again with his own perverted sense of reality. his muse:: her daemon. She didn’t have to look at the work. He’d cover them up with Blake’s vision of Dante. His child. threw the wine bottles away. his signatures. She’d escaped his captivation but only in a bare sense. Just living parallel lives. He had turned her into a thing of a vital evil energy. the sensual curve from nape to thigh that he decorated with voluminous ribbons of hair. When she knew he wouldn’t see.

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