The Art in Nakedness

I become aware of his naked presence beside me, opening my eyes from a dream I can’t recall. His broad chest rises and falls against me, his arm sprawled across my back. His breaths are heavy, his spirit is light, and when I shift my posture, his hand adjusts; caressing the length of my spine before curling himself against me, hugging me close. His thumb moves back and forth along my upper shoulder, and I’m suddenly conscious of his protection, the safety net he has built around my body and soul, feeling noticed, perfectly seen. I can’t help but turn around to face him, and he slightly wakes from the change in position. I rest my head on his shoulder as he embraces me, pressing his lips against my forehead, intertwining our bodies to close the gaps, the crevices in our souls. I kiss his chest, his soft, black skin, and feel it rise and fall a little quicker in pace, hearing a slight hitch in his breath.

Have you ever bared your soul to someone before? Letting someone see and hear your innermost thoughts, the most private pieces of your being? There’s a particular fear that rises when we think of shredding off walls and tearing apart boulders. To be completely vulnerable, they say, is to become naked in a storm; purposely letting your body tremble and your teeth chatter in the cold, aching for a blue blanket, waiting for it to be given. Your purple bruises are exposed, your brown scars are on display, and there is nothing you could do but hug your imperfections and look away, stare at nothing.

But I’ve come to realize that people have different reactions to Art. They’ll either find you despicable and not find value in the work, or they’ll be mystified by your presence, by your techniques, admiring who you are, and who you are meant to be. They’ll understand your creation, they’ll connect with your themes, and the dams you fought so hard to build, will unexpectedly become undone.

“Your feet are cold,” he says, voice husky and sweet. 

I chuckle against his arms, “Oh, my bad.”

I move my feet away so I don’t burden him.

“No, no, no,” he pulls apart a little, and I look up at him when he does. He leans down to kiss me, fully and softly, tugging against my bottom lip with his. “I got you,” he whispers.

He unravels himself from around me, and scooches down to the edge of the bed, taking my feet in his hands to massage them, to warm them up.

Be patient, my love.

He’ll come.

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