Sexual energy is creative energy. As I pleasure myself daily, my inner sufi comes out to play. Here is a new poem:
Who cares how many fish are in the sea.
I just want to swim in the clear blue water.
Feel the grace of my own body
as it butterflies out past the waves,
remembering its wings.
Leaping over peaks just before they break
and diving under.
My limbs stretching,
pulling through the sea’s resistance,
pulling back the veils
between the upper and lower worlds.
I want to swim in the freedom
of my own company,
without direction or destiny
or having to make conversation
with anything but my beating heart.
Holding myself close
as the cold seeps in.
Taking my breath to its edge,
seeing how far down I can go
before the pressure is too much.
I once heard a story about the spirit of a woman
who lives at the bottom of the ocean.
When she refused to obey her tyrant husband
her father came in secret to rescue her by boat.
But when her husband discovered her missing,
his rage caused a great storm.
Afraid for his life, the father pleaded with his daughter
to give herself to the sea-
otherwise they both would drown.
Heart broken, the daughter refused to jump.
So the father pushed her in.
But the daughter’s will to live was stronger than the storm
and she rose up from the waves,
gasping for air, grabbing onto the side of the boat.
Still scared for his life, the father pulled out a knife,
begging his daughter again to let go.
When she refused, he chopped off her fingers,
which are said to have become all of the beautiful fish in the sea.
But the daughter held on with the stubs of her hands.
So the father took the knife to them as well,
which are said to have become the seals and dolphins.
“Please let me live father!”
the daughter cried out, wrapping her arms around the side of the boat.
But the father could not hear his daughter’s words above his fear.
So he cut off her arms,
which are said to have become the whales.
And finally the daughter disappeared under the water for good-
holding all of the tears of Woman
in her lost arms ever since.
Maybe she is why I love to swim in the ocean
naked without a wet suit,
even in the middle of winter-
to be held in the lost arms and hands,
the creativity of Woman
the world has tried to cut off.
If I listen I can hear the whistles of dolphins,
reassuring me nothing is ever lost.
And somewhere I imagine an armless woman
laughing, riding a blue whale bare back.
I feel her joy bursting in my lungs
as I shoot up for air
and breathe in the sun.
I feel her arms and hands re-membered in mine
swimming for shore-
excited to be shivering in this vulnerable human skin,
that can love and hurt and forgive and love again-
that can open its heart and write poems
regardless of how many fish there are,
or if we ever meet the particular fish of our dreams.