Bergen, Norway

FROM ‘MARA, MARIETTA’
Intermezzo 9: Siri

Touch me. That’s all I want. We don’t need words. Your hand in mine, your weight on my body, your hair brushing my cheek. That’s all I want. Smoked char with pickled quince and blue cheese: I’d have liked to have shared it with you. Toasting the devil while downing an akvavit: I’d have liked to have done that with you. But I don’t mind that we didn’t: Touch me. That’s all I want. Your smile makes my history a fairy tale; your eyes put me in touch with my truth. Still, for a touch, I’d forgo your smile and your gaze.

I bought a pair of boots. I’d have liked to have bought them with you. I explored this city of fjord, lake and mountain. I’d have liked to have explored it with you. But I don’t mind that we didn’t: Touch me. That’s all I want. You levitate my body. You elevate my soul. And on the ground all the while you keep my feet. Still, for a touch, I’d forgo your magic.

While I was out walking the whirling wind intensified; it hurled prickles of ice into my face. I closed my eyes and banished signs. I ended up in the Terminus Kafe. At the bar a man welcomed me to the North Sea. He asked me how I liked his city. ‘Too many blondes’, I replied, ‘too many ghosts of the girl who’s gone’. ‘Cruelty is part of being a woman’, he said, ‘just as inhumanity is part of being human’. I replied, ‘My friend, thank you, but I don’t want your philosophy’. And I didn’t. I don’t want any of that anymore: Your touch, that’s all I want. Last night, across a cold waste of white sheet, I reached for you. In the morning, clutching at emptiness, I awoke with a blizzard in my heart. I don’t want you in my dreams again. I don’t want to hallucinate you anymore. Touch me. That’s all I want. Your hand in mine, your weight on my body, your hair brushing my cheek…