No. 19 Yen Minju: Making Love

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With your finger short of a knuckle you gently caress my lips, quickly gliding towards my ear as if following the curve of a white porcelain plate’s golden rim.

Appearing like an insensible statue of the goddess Venus, I am in fact keeping perfectly still for I fear that the slightest movement might scare away your imperceptibly trembling fingers. However, you suck the dewdrops off my eyelashes like a bee sucking nectar from a calyx. In the sound of your breath I can hear the faintest whisperings of rumour, but you reach out and put your hands on my hills, tenderly running them over the ridges undulating against the sky, only to sink into a specious silence in the depth of the mysterious valley, waiting for an opportunity…

We dare not to look into each other’s eyes. We are bashful, shy, because we do not really know each other well. On that quiet afternoon, we were walking along a little lakeside path. Your sleeves were brushing against my naked arm, and my heart went into a flutter, a daze. You said you’d never forget that moment. A mellow breeze showered us with innocent beauty.

Your body is roaming over mine, elegantly and full of confidence. I am heaving along with your rhythm. Indistinctly, I see the sunlight dancing erratically on the foliage outside the curtains. You, still but a little boy, were whizzing down a long and narrow alley on your bicycle, blowing up clouds of dust that kept hovering in the air, unwilling to settle. Inside the curtains, my long hair is flowing freely, rushing down like a waterfall of glimmering sparks over my smiling, flashing eyes.

You love to explore the confines of my cave, and I like nothing better than for you to gallop wildly across my soft, rebellious savannahs. Dashing madly, like a stallion. The rough stubbles of your beard cannot hurt me; rather, it’s the fact that you’ll soon be gone that makes me sad. When my fingertips feel the coolness at the top of your head, a brief shudder sweeps over my whole body, curled up as I am in the crook of your arm. We are incessantly writhing and squirming in each other because we are not afraid of the mad frenzy that is about to burst from our unease, our anxiety. The red hot passion is nothing but a product of our unbridgeable separation. We are detached, because eternity ends tomorrow.

Riding your bicycle, you were bunny hopping down an afternoon alley with childlike innocence and joy, dodging the old men in white robes with white beards, heading straight for the whole world, to the top of your career, to the point where your hair and skin had turned into a motley of pepper and salt. In the grey light I sneak a furtive glance at how you’re licking me up and down. And I see that while my God has made me, I have created myself in my very own, self-destructive way as an act of defiance against Him. Another me.

Come on, draw the curtains. My love!

Moisture. Wetness. Water, the source of life. We try to find the meaning of each other’s existence in the viscous fluids our bodies produce for lubrication. Let me ask you, though, why did I know you and you me with such inexorable inevitability? Why did we go diving together in that enigmatic dream lake, browsing through the details of each other’s infidelity? Listen, what does your God and my God have to say?

We refuse to get to the frontlines too quickly, because what’s lurking behind the times at the front is that vacant exhaustion. We refuse to reach the frontlines too fast because we are fainthearted and intelligent. Fainthearted, since this is the one time we have. And intelligent because we know this is the one and only time we have. So we wait.

We are churning up the embers of happiness with furious zeal, and toying with our individual differences. In the lush undergrowth we are looking for purchase, and seeking an opening to allow us to enter each other. Then you remember, in life one sometimes should forget the rules and expose one’s heart to be painted with colours. At the far end of my throbbing, teetering ride I hear a giddy sound oddly unfamiliar to my ears. I turn over, my fingertip draws a sweaty line on your back, and I am unable to understand the subtle nuances played out by the strange notes, rising and falling, of your panting breath.

The birds and insects are quiet, and the sky has forgotten its blueness. Not even the wind is blowing. Have we brought time to a standstill, or time us?

It’s over. What’s left is eternal loss, out of which beauty is born. I’m standing in a corner of the room, and watching for a long time the physical entanglement of our bodies and the restlessness of our souls. A long time. Until your body is cold as ice and your heart beats no more. Then, finally, I let go. When you leave, silently, I want you to breathe in deeply and inhale the scent of losing me: the utter solitude in the darkest depths at the bottom of the ocean.

(Translated by David van der Peet)


YEN Minju, a writer and member of ICPC living in Switzerland.

Chinese Original