I commemorate you, my darling.
I salute you with my goblet, crystallized and brimming at the seams with wine, the ducats shimmering, adding to the taste of glory that would course through your veins. Your arm so strong, it grips the night air with silence as the blissful magic of the blind-eyed mackerel that bounces off your crown, hungry, salivating, dog-eared and nearly as emphatic as a metallic stool.
I love your veins as they pop in a saccharine line down the blade of your neck. Hello, they slice, when you beat yourself against the atmosphere and speak from the hollows of your voice - the calming effect of your tongue is it lashes the air, instantly bringing about the endless fantasies of the young maidens aligning the Roman pillars of the hall. Should you not pity them - Viola, Hermia and such - they who have suffered hunger through the nights?
We are centuries too early too late, but I experience the same kind of lust the sweat on your brow feels on a chilly night when I smear myself against your pages, listening for the heartbeat everyone seems to hear. I start to wonder how you picked yourself, brushing the dust off your collar, straightening your silken stockings and tearing off all the clothes with your drunkenness exposed in true display of thick red wine as you turn your head sideways, letting Jessica and Cleopatra twirl your moustache as you saunter away into the moonlight.
In the still of the night, you quietly begin to collect the cavalry in your soul. You start to learn.
You imagine the slightest fury of their husbands as they rampage about their houses, a different kind of sweat dripping from their chins, a different kind of love portrayed through their eyes, a different kind of voice gurgling in the depths of their throat. You could never understand how resigned they are, how sullen they are in their words, when they are men - men who could open their mouths and loom across the universe one word at a time. Men who want and need and long and attain through the flick and friction of a thumb with a pink fleshy forefinger. Men who have the virtues of saints yet the eyes of devils who impose no authority through actions but claim their hearts were on fire. Men who are silent.
So you write, flawlessly, your cufflings spilling the ink of your blood, the mercury in your veins rising with every letter whispered to a page. My, my, my, the sounds of life buzzing about your brain, as the letters weave like the gold thread on your petticoat, over and under until you form Lysander and Orsino, slowly they arise, figurines given to enchant us while Lorenzo and Antony enthrall, their boots stomping out the madness while your head balloons with ideas of higher divinity, Henry, Lear, Richard - men of a different nature, men who are less reticent, stronger and madder. That blade, more ruffian, prevaricating and seducing, a sound you'd love to love.
The difference between man, and men.
I still stand here, with my ear to Caesar's lips, wondering wondering wondering if I can hear you, if I can sense that longing in your voice, that soft comedy that has been uprooted from the tree of your heart or do I comfort myself
in Brutus' arms, clinging on to his sword, biting against the cold and relishing the blood from your lip? You put me through this, and I am so engulfed in its beauty and horror that I forget that we're four-hundred and twenty nine years apart.
So my darling, with my cup, plastic and durable, I commemorate you.