The Woman in Sunshine


He lies in a field, motionless. Passive. The light caresses his face and the wind ruffles his hair – but gently, oh so gently. He squeezes his eyes shut against the noontime glare, feeling the sunbeams warm his cheeks and scatter fairy dust across his twitching eyelids.

The light presses against the arch of his cheekbones, the bridge of his nose, the curve of his chin. Trails like delicate fingers over his tingling skin. Tickles his nose, letting loose a sneeze that sets the floating pollen into a frenzied dance.

He runs home hours later, pale skin burned and freckled, and all his stories revolve around that mysterious figure, the woman in sunshine.





Mummy sits by the window, cradling him in her lap. He presses his face against the window, hoping to feel that golden touch at least second-handedly. But the sunbeams frolic behind clouds today, and the glass only chills the raw scratches across his cheeks.

The sky grows black, until the windowpane outside becomes frosted in ice. Mummy cries. Daddy returns home, and drops the shotgun on the table.

"No trace of him. Maybe next full moon?"

Mummy shushes him, and the room dissolves into silence.





Dawn creeps through the cracks in the shed, inching through the dust to his darkened corner. He crawls towards it, hip joints popping noisily as he struggles against battered muscles and throbbing bones. Reaches it, collapses in the warm glow – and feels the sunlight envelop him in a softening embrace.

He smiles, then shuts his eyes as slips into fevered dreams.




"You're bloody insane. Y'know?"

A heavy oxford prods him in the stomach. Repeatedly. Sirius progresses from nudging to kicking, until he sits up swiftly and opens his eyes.

"The woman in sunshine? That's complete bollocks."

"Pads, it's a metaphor. I'm not saying that sunlight is actually a woman—"

"—Prongs would like that—"

"—just that sometimes, on a clear day like this, the light feels soft and gentle. Like a woman's touch."

Sirius drops beside him. Leans back, head pillowed in his hands, and scrunches up his face in concentration. "Don't feel anything."

"Wait."

The wind shifts, rustling the leaves overhead and stirring up the sweet grass. He tilts his head upwards, feels the warmth seep into his skin. Heating and healing and comforting. The light brushes his hands, his neck, his lips - applies soft pressure to his aching temples.

He sprawls out, drowsy in the afternoon heat, and turns to face Sirius.

"See?"

Sirius doesn't even deign to respond.




It is only that this warmth and movement are like
The warmth and movement of a woman.

It is not that there is any image in the air
Nor the beginning nor end of a form:

It is empty. But a woman in threadless gold
Burns us with brushings of her dress

And a dissociated abundance of being,
More definite for what she is -

Because she is disembodied,
Bearing the odors of the summer fields,

Confessing the taciturn and yet indifferent,
Invisibly clear, the only love.

--Wallace Stevens