As days pass and I become more embroiled in other pursuits, my erotic thoughts slip into the realm of fantasy. Less wham bam and more interpretive imagery.

I think of women whom I only know via the figurative written page as gulls standing on the hull of my boat, pecking at the glass. Their faces those of birds, yet still human, as if reincarnated. Their free spirits returned to send a message.

I dream of another on a bed not her own. Her face a sad smile and her body thicker than it was. Rounded, curdled hips. Large and heavy breasts. Her hair wet and wrapped atop her head. She sits on the edge of a bed as two men—one presumably me—take lotion and moisten her entire body. She also assists. She smiles and relays some great anecdote as if in mute, her lips forming words without sounds, even as our fingers spread lotion over her brows, around her cheekbones, along her chin. There are lines in her skin where there weren’t before. When she stops mouthing she lays back and we slather her body to the bottom of the last painted gray toe. When the task is complete the two men—possibly we—stand and walk out onto a balcony where a great pile of dried moss is gathered, and a flowing creek emerges from an unseen source and out over the edge. We step outside and motion for her to emerge. She stands and again smiles sadly. It is the smile of someone older making a decision in which she has no choice. She steps out and the lotion soaks into her skin with first grace of the sun. Her hair falls loose. Dark brown, streaks of gold and gray. She walks to the moss mound and lies back, splayed before us in an expectant and impatient display. We walk to her and take her in the most savage of ways. She produces no sounds, merely mouths them, and tears roll down her cheeks as we go into the night, the next morning, and finally lie still as a tangle of people in the midday sun. At dusk she gathers herself and returns inside to bathe. We wash our hands at a wash basin and gather the lotion, prepared to go again and until the end of time.