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Which One of You is the Man?

We are quick change artists we girls.

Picasso's veins are Kingfisher blue and Kingfisher shy.  The first time I slept with her I couldn't see through the marble columns of her legs or beyond the opaque density of each arm.  A sculptor by trade, Picasso is her own model.

The blue that runs through her is sanguine.  One stroke of the knife and she changes colour.  Every month and she changes colour.  Deep pools of blue silk drop from her.  I know her by the lakes she leaves on the way to the bedroom.  Her braces cascade over the stair-rail, she wears earrings of lapis lazuli which I have caught cup-handed, chasing her veils.

When she sheds she sheds it all.  Her skin comes away with her clothes.  On those days I have been able to see the blood-depot of her heart ... her breath is blue in the cold air.  She breathes into the blue winter like a Madonna of the Frost.  I think it right to kneel and the view is good.

I can't catch her by copying her, I can't draw her with a borrowed stencil.  She is all the things a lover should be and quite a few a lover should not.  Pin her down?  She's not a butterfly.  I'm not a wrestler.  She's not a target.  I'm not a gun.

We were by the sea yesterday and the sea was heavy with salt so that our hair was braided with it.  There was salt in our hands and in our wounds where we'd been fighting.  'Don't hurt me' I said and I unbuttoned my shirt so that she could look at my breasts if she wanted to.  'I'm no saint' she said and that was true, true too that our feet are the same size.  The rocks were reptile blue and the sky that balanced on top of the cliffs was sheer blue.  Picasso made me put on her jersey and drink dark tea ...

Hang on me my darling like rubies round my neck.  Let me leaf through you before I read you out loud.  Picasso warms my freezing heart on the furnaxce of her belly.  Her belly is stoked to blazing with love of me.  I have learned to feed her every day, to feed her full of fuel that I gladly find.

I have unlocked the storehouses of love.  On the Mainland they teach you to save for a rainy day.  The truth is that love needs no saving.  It is fresh or not at all.  We are fresh and plentiful  She is my harvest and I am hers.  She seeds me and reaps me, we fall into one another's laps.  Her seas are thick with fish for my rod.  I have rodded her through and through.

:from The Poetics of Sex, (c) Jeanette Winterson 1998

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