Ombre

Silk, spanning a spectrum
progressing from
burnt coffee to golden wheat.
A field of change, traveling through
the seasons, yet
frozen in time.
Cascading toward enchanted ovals,
it frames her face, in parallel with
delightful dimples bordering a
softly-summoned smile.

by Erik Shinker

A Reflection

I repeat the words through habit like
a childhood prayer that no longer holds meaning;
words spoken for the simple
feel between lips; indoctrinated
into the idea of partnership.

I am lacking;
I must couple.
But what if I am unable to adapt and
it hurts not only me, but her most of all?
But for all my appearance of empathy,
it’s really a reflection of me.

by Erik Shinker

Hiccup and Coo

The world is fuzzing sound;
blurred by brand-new sensation
as you learn and
grow and
stretch,
day by day.

Body wracked by hiccups,
feeding and pooping and
farting and burping.
Bodily functions endear at this early age;
each one a victory worthy of celebration.

We wait for you to wake, though
you find the most solace in sleep.
You are a cooing gift
we were happy to
receive.

by Erik Shinker

The Right One

No longer present despite the
press of pliable flesh.
A multiverse of outcomes
expands before my mind.
Primed for impact,
a cotton-cloth barrier is all
that stands between
pulsing passion and penetration.

With legs entwined in
tangled sheets of coastal blue,
she is a mermaid underwater;
the ebb and flow, her desire.
Her hair is an auburn fan resting
upon the pillowcase.
Lying bare to the world, she smiles;
apprehension applied as eyeliner.

“What are you thinking?”
she asks as I back away;
retreating into the safety of myself.
I match her smile, and
refrain from the true answer:
“You’re not the right one.”

by Erik Shinker

Glimpses

Heartfelt palpitations at the
thought of your smile.
Each morning wakes in
anticipation of seeing you
for the first time.

Creating excuses to come into contact;
these glimpses, though brief,
engulf me in expectation of when I
might build the courage to ask.

Because, as was once
sung in a Savage Garden:
oh, I want you,
I don’t know if I need you, but
oh I’d die to find out.

by Erik Shinker

Torn

An expectation, placed by
society, community, culture.
When did partnership become a
prerequisite for happiness?

Loneliness is a leaden blanket, smothering
any thought of additional companionship.
Having been a self-professed romantic for
such a long time, have I finally come to see
the truth?

Physical urges are what they are and,
in the wake their expulsion,
when the sweat has dried and the
words we repeated in rapture
dissolve into air, our lust is only
replaced by regret and
guilt.

Is this all I would reap? Momentary
ecstasy and what remains for the duration.
Am I simply impatient,
immature, and
arrested in my development?

by Erik Shinker