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

As Long As You Do

I began as
the fluttering in your stomach,
conjured by intimate touch, but
soon the sentiment attached at the sight
began to curdle.
I became as
a festering boil on the skin of your existence;
a regretted reminder of
wasted affections.
It doesn’t matter what
you think of me;
as long as you do.

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

A Vision

She is a vision I once had,
though created by something far more powerful.
A reflection of Her,
immaculate in her beauty and grace.

Her smile, an ivory signal of
laughter and joy.
Hands,
delicate,
with long fingers to
caress and coax.
A slender frame, to
be held,
passing warmth from flesh to palm.

She is something beyond
possession, beyond
me.
She is all that is good in the world, and
I only ask for the attention to
let her know it.

But, I don’t know her, or
if she’d even want to know me.

by Erik Shinker

Disenchanted

Love does not exist;
at least, not that
splendid thing described by
the romantic and empathetic.

Now we search for something
to fulfill ourselves, rather than another.
What they give to me is
of import; more than anything
I could give them.

We compare ourselves and,
in a self-serving delusion to force influence,
coach others on how to be
beautiful, or
successful, or
better
like us.

We justify and force ourselves to
believe that sharing our
“success” stories
somehow uplifts others, even
when we spew the same platitudes as
every other entrepreneur.

by Erik Shinker

Shopping for a Significant Other

When did we stop thinking of others
as human?
When did we become commodities to
browse through as we shop,
items and products marketing ourselves
in the hope for an end to our loneliness?

Requested specifications include:
height, and
skin color, and
hair color, and
gender, and
sexual preference, and
location, and
so on, and
so forth, and
so what?

Qualify yourself to ensure quality,
judge others based on the
information provided and hope for
accuracy that cannot be assured.

Throw up defenses, obstacles, hurdles
to weed out the
undeserving. The elation of a match,
pulsing adrenaline and
released butterflies at the
prospect of a possible connection.

Happily ever after is
at your fingertips;
swipe to select
your next conquest
today!

by Erik Shinker

The Hurting

I was searching for someone to
trace my history through
fingerprint and dermal imperfection.

We would read the scars on one another’s
bodies like Braille; telling
the stories of our hurts and
those who cut and carved into our memories.
Seldom forgiven;
never forgotten.

A blind hope we wouldn’t be doing the
same damn thing in a couple of
years with other lovers;
telling them about the
last time we allowed ourselves to
be vulnerable, and the
hurting that followed.

by Erik Shinker