A Study of Features

by Jason Parker



What is it that makes you so special?


Is it the way that groove under your nose quivers as you speak? Or those fine, not quite dimples that appear in your cheeks when you laugh? The way your freckles rise out of your skin when youíve spent too much time in the sun? The way the black hairs of your eyebrows taper off to fine tips on either side?


I could trace every inch of your face. As if my fingers had a photographic memory of every time I stroked them across your features. Your lips, so soft and tenderóhow many times have I kissed them? Not enough. The way your eyes seem to catch every sparkle of light and reflect it like a sapphire kaleidoscope. The rosy hue of your cheeks to bring color to your fair complexion, rising off your high cheekbones.


 I can see the way you forehead creases as you raise your eyes at me in silent question. You donít need to speak, as if the very air we breathe carries our messages for us, silently communicating like no one else could. And Iím lost again in tracing your hairline, feeling the downy softness of each strand brush past my fingers.


Such a rush to run my fingers over the gentle ridge of your nose and marvel at your seeming lack of pores. No imperfections, justÖ smoothness. How can anyone compete with those features? As if they were carved from marble and smoothed to perfection. Like Berniniís stone creations, so full of life and spirit. And your eyelashes flutter as my fingers slip under your chin and trace down your throat, easing into the gentle crease of your collar.


A sharp intake of breath, and your throat tightens as my fingertip descends, making its journey down and across your chest, slipping into the smooth valley of your stomach. The way your skin dimples with goose bumps in the chill, or the arm that draws me closer, seeking warmth. Slipping my fingers lower, like figure skaters tracing patterns on the ice, down into the depression of your bellybutton. That secret place, your stem, where you fell from the tree. Is it an erotic spot? Yours never seems to collect that fuzz that otherís do. But moving on, I go lower, slipping my knuckles through those fine hairs that wend their way up your stomach.


Which way do I go now though? Left or right? Following the line of your hip where your skin never fails to feel like silk and going lower, down your thigh. These muscular thighs, the strength buried just under the warm surface. Extending my arm and going lower, coming to the end of my reach somewhere near your knee. Your arm keeps me in place and I shanít move to disturb you. So my hand starts making the return journey, this time on the inside. How are your legs so smooth? I tried to shave just to be like you, but it always grew back, and the effect was never quite the same.


The heat from your loins baking my hand as it passes, slipping across your belly, spread flat and applying just the slightest pressure. But nothing gives, nothing ever gives. And cresting your ribs like a great wave on the ocean of your body, my hand comes back to those firm platters of your chest. How often have I used them for pillows, resting my head, hearing the steady rhythm of your heart and breathing? But my hand wonít stop, rising higher, over your shoulder and then grazing my nails along your neck, up to your ear. Straining, I can reach your ear lobe with my tongue, running along the outer ridge and then down again, gently nibbling.


Sitting back, youíre still unmoving. Using the back of my hand, I slip across the hollow of your cheek, pausing at your lips to trace each one with a finger-pad. Just the earliest signs of stubble starting to appear now. You could shave, or you could keep it, I wouldnít care. It all looks perfect on you. Moving on now to your closed eyes, ever so gently running my fingers across our lashes so that your eyes stir. And then they crack apart, seeking me out in the pale light. Your eyes, one again managing to catch every glitter of light and shining up at me.


So what is it that makes you so special?


There are a million others just like you, waiting. Out there. Your body just one drop in a world of seas.


So why canít I stop thinking of you? How come I know I could never move on to another drop?


The corners of your mouth rise in smile and your hand finds mine, drawing it to your lips and kissing those tender digits that mapped your form so recently. And then youíre turning, facing me and then rolling so that Iím under you, arms on either side. You brush the hair back from my face and then your head descends, breathing life into me with your cherry lips. Those burning hot, lush lips. And your cheek grazes past mine as you move your mouth to my ear and whisper softly:


ďI love you.Ē


And I know then what it is. Itís that tiny tremor in your voice as you speak those three words, those eight simple letters so packed with emotion that it makes me ache inside. No one else can make my heart flutter like this; no one else can make me feel this special.


And as you raise your head, looking down at me, at the wry, knowing smile that plays across my lips, your eyebrows already lifting in silent, curious question.


But I donít need to answer. I know again. I know what makes you so special.