John liked to write poetry. He said it was his sensitive side, expressing itself, but I thought they were crappy and sappy, just random words he wrote down. It made me feel very uncomfortable when he got in one of his moods, near tears, and made me sit and listen to him read.
One day we were out on the sailboat, becalmed on a glassy surface of the harbor. I was glad I remembered to bring the oar because it was one of those days that was going to go wrong. I hated to struggle with that oar. Sailing was supposed to be free, taking advantage of the breeze. I noticed that John had brought his little red leather journal and was scribbling, intent on his sensitive side because this notebook was the one he used when he got that way.
We were at opposite ends of the boat, me on the bow, pretending to take a nap, and John with the tiller and nothing to do but write. I heard him stumble over a rope, making his way to me. I pressed my hand to my face, hoping he wouldn’t want to disturb me. But he sat next to me and whispered, “Jill, I have something for you.” I didn’t react. Oh, God, was he going to make me listen to another poem?
He must have thought I was asleep because he started reading, in a quiet, tremulous voice, filled with feeling, “My love, watery waves rippling,” moving the sounds slowly up, “deep glossy liquid lust heightens my senses,” then pausing for effect, then lowering, quickly spewing out, “I thrust me being into you, your mind, your body, and come, hard,” and I slowly move my jacket collar up around my mouth to keep him from seeing me try not to laugh out loud, he ends with, “lying limp in your arms.”