I come to you to help me forget
The brutal and barren world that surrounds me.

I come to you to help me remember
The parts of myself that I have buried and cannot uncover on my own.

Like a desert, my body feels scorched and desolate;
Tightly-strung sinews stretch between sun-bleached bones.
Parched and thirsty,
I want to dig a deep well in this arid land.

I am lost and I am seeking the oasis:
This internal haven that I know is here, but cannot find.

I want to be veiled in your paisley sun-warmed sheets,
Anointed with a caravan of aromatic oils:
cloves, eucalyptus, and lavender.

As you begin to stroke and knead your fingers
over my ravaged terrain,
A flood of memory rises from the reservoir beneath:
A hidden wellspring flows
to slake and refresh my thirsty soul.
Your hands lay out a banquet of many delectable flavors,
My body eagerly feasts at your table.

I breathe deep and then deeper,
The tides of my breath rise and fall
like the wind over hot sand.
You are Scheherazade, your fingers spin mesmerizing tales.
I sway beneath your palms and drift
into foreign and forgotten places.
My thoughts skip like a stone,
Skimming the watery edge of the vast sea of my unconscious mind.
My body forgets and remembers, and I sigh with pleasure.

In this verdant sanctuary
Pain, like a mirage, has dissolved.
I shed my dry and armored skin like a snake,
I forget the brutalities of the world, and
I remember the peace and solace that are always within.

Copyright 2000 Karen Albertsen