One layer at a time he peeled me

Like an onion

His hands wrapped around my outer skin

From top to bottom he found my flesh

And I made him cry

Like water

Running down the side of rock

In a cascade of drops becoming

A river below

Into which we jumped

His tears breaking our fall.


One page at a time he turned me

Like a book

His hands against the leather

Bound around my story, all my words

Unspoken and broken

He read and knew and studied

Like art

Smeared across a canvas

With descriptions written below

Telling of the image

Sitting still and wanting

To be known.


One note at a time he sang me

Like a song

Released from the beak of a bird

Whose daily life is filled

With music because music is

Like emotion

Strong and loud when the air is enough

And slow and soft

When there is tenderness in the touch

A balance of adagio and

A quickening of the pulse.


One sip at a time he drank me

Like wine

Held inside a carafe

Until the day my breath met his

At the edge of a glass

And stained our mouths with red

Like a flower

Vibrant with color and life

Not pulled but watered instead

By attentive hands

That understand

Petals cut or plucked

Are already dying.


Whatever the measures by which he moves

Whatever the story he tells

Whatever the words he says or unzips

I am undone

And his.


Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German painter Heiko Müller’s drawing above, http://www.heikomueller.de)