You call out of the blue night.
You say you've heard of me,
say you'd like to give me a massage
if I will write a poem.
Even though it is Mercury retrograde,
when appointments and negotiations
are challenging as stepping over boulders,
I accept your unusual offer.
Trading the marvelous mundanity of a body
(everybody has one)
for the spontaneous show of creativity
(always near, just below the surface).

When I enter your healing space
your bright face greets me.
I see your delicate attention to nuance
in every aspect:
the fire burning steadily,
the atmospheric crystal lights dimmed,
lavender scented candles,
the warmed massage table—
the wide stillness of a place at peace in all its ways.

Since we have not met before
I offer to read you a poem I've just finished.
As I read, your face softens.
The details I mention are the ones you also know:
the scent of flowers, the color of sky,
the ordinary things of life made special by our attention
and their inclusion here.
It is the same with your work.

You show me the mosaic of photos you took,
each with its represented idea,
each with its close-up of stamen or sepal or bud.
I am glad to see such concepts as Accent, Inspiration, and Harmony
included in your repertoire of skills.
The Artistry of Touch is at once a name and a style.
Now it becomes a poster and an art form,
soon to be a teaching.

We begin.

My back is a subject
which you quietly, deeply align and straighten.
My legs, supporting verbs
like "have," or "be," or "would."
My arms are verbs in their active tense,
my hands mimic the energy releases
with fingers stretched out or loosened or curled.
In my neck the prepositions live, articulating
before things and between, connecting.
My jaw is the stubborn sense of adverbs,
deeply holding on, then slowly letting go,
supporting each expression.

A laugh releases at the knees,
a memory of pain at broken arm bone.
How unused I am to being rubbed
within this house of poetry.
I am a smooth skin of feeling
impressed upon by wonder.
I am made whole again as each part is attended,
from toes to fingers,
ribcage to belly, knees to nose.
I am stretched out smooth,
drinking in your tactile attention like moss at first rain.

The environment is entirely soothing and orderly.
Soft flannel table, stoked fire,
scented candles, lamp burning
in its own reflected light.
Lovely watercolor of souls traveling
through dense landscapes;
Minute pottery on a shelf,
its own presentation of order and charm.

The whole careful experience slowly
penetrating into my skin.
Fragrances stimulating and exotic,
"Solaris Universalis," the music that you chose,
takes me to a deep familiar place.
All the senses are visited equally and justly.
You stand steady around me
following your own rhythm
of accents and tone.

It is this evenness I remember most
now that the day has passed.
Everything even,
like a clear morning song;
the base note balancing
the subtext—
even and utterly smooth.

Copyright 2000 Jenny D'Angelo