Untie Me Empty


Lovers 1920 by Paul Klee as reproduced in The Art of the Erotic
Lovers (1920) by Paul Klee

You turn around in my arms, and with sleep still in your eyes, you take me in. Our eyes linger everywhere, trying to memorize as much as we can. It seems impossible to me that a body I’d known for a night could be embossed on my soul like I’d known it for years. It seems impossible to me that I could wake up one day and not remember exactly how I’d traced every bit of your body to memory. 

“Time is a funny thing,” you say, and brush your fingers against my chin, calmly at first, and then sharply, propelling me towards you. We’re lying down, but my knees give away. Our lips almost touch; your eyes are daring me to move. I don’t move because I’m scared. I don’t move because I’m paralyzed. 

Your fingers turn me away from your face when you sense my fear. The softness of a lover disappears with the darkness of the night. I wait for you to look at me as I count the minutes. The arch in your back wills me to touch you, but I’m paralyzed. Touching you seems insane after last night, when I was never not touching all of you. You turn around again, and your face is steel with a disconnect. I search for the person I had surrendered to but your eyes shield my lover. I still can’t move, my hands tied up in the ropes of yesterday. I’m safe because I’m paralyzed, and I search for my lover to tighten the knot. My eyes beg you to take the reign in your hands. I beg you to tighten the ropes, so I don’t break open. You sense my helpless body writhing, but you refuse to meet my eyes. 

The sun is brighter now, and you move with purpose as your fingers undo the knots in my body. I am terrified of losing control, but words sit dry on my lips. You undo the knots without touching my skin, my skin is reeling under a drought for your touch. I trusted you to make a move, and I trusted you to mould me into loving me. I am a mirror for your desires, but you don’t look. If you looked at my eyes, you would know. If you looked into my eyes, I could make you tighten the ropes until they left me scarred. In your freeing me, there’s torture. There’s a release. You untie me until I’m empty. 

I try to clutch your shirt so you wouldn’t take it, but my fingers don’t move. You gently pull it from under me, the softness clawing its way back in. I search and search for my lover. I pull you back to me and run your fingers through my hair. I beg you to touch me everywhere. I don’t move because I’m paralyzed. I watch you walk away but feel you drag me on the ground when I try to stop you. The wounds on my arms sting, but I haven’t moved an inch because I’m paralyzed.

IMG 20220217 WA0016 edited

Soumya Rai

Soumya is a twenty-one year old final year student at St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. She has chosen to major in the subjects of English Literature, Journalism, and Psychology. She particularly enjoys reading fiction, writing personal essays, storytelling, watching art films, and consuming copious amounts of coffee.


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