If I were your lover a poem from a panther to you

(Recited in the mode of "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" a poem by Christopher Marlowe)


If I were your lover, ... I would love you.

I would hunt you, and you would know you were being hunted,
by the tingling you feel when you know I'm staring at you, but when you turn around to look at me, I'm not there,
by the way my eyes rake over every inch of your body in less than one-eighth of a second, pretending, oh, I'm not checking you out!
but very pleased with what I see when I look into your eyes, and very pleased with what I see, when I look ... elsewhere, ... everywhere
... and that would scare you in some ways, and please you in others.

And then I would court you, and we would go out on 'not-a-date' dates,
And we would do the things everybody does: nosh, a movie, a walk in the park, playing pool at a bar, museums, libraries, bookstores, marinas,
... but it would be different.

I would ask you penetrating questions with my penetrating eyes,
And you would see somebody was really talking with you and really listening to you,
... and that would scare you in some ways, and please you in others.

And then would come the day, when you're dropping me off at my flat, I say the words:

"Wanna come up for some coffee or a movie or ... whatever?"

And you would, and you would know it's not just for coffee, and yes, there'd be coffee, or water, or ... whatever,
... and talking about this and that, or ... whatever,
... or watching a romcom or a scary-scary movie, or ... whatever,

But then, it would be late-late, wouldn't it? and you would need a place to sleep because you can't drive like that, can you? and
... well, sleeping on the couch, that's ridiculous, the couch isn't comfy at all, and ...

And I am a gentlewoman, and I would sleep on my side (but I wouldn't be sleeping), and you would sleep on yours

... unless.

Unless you ... you know, started talking about your life or your mom or your job or your ... whatever.

Unless you ... you know, stroked my back or my shoulder, you know, just because.

Unless you ... you know, kissed me. You know, just a kiss, you know, ... just because.

But ...

Well, and then, well, it's been hard, you know? All this teasing back and forth, all these so serious, deep and meaningful conversations, all this ... this.

And ...

It's been hard not pawing you, clawing you, sinking my teeth into you,
... lapping you up like water from a mountain stream.

And so your one little kiss ...

Well, your one little kiss ...

And ...

And then, well, I would have to kiss you back.

Sweetly, at first, of course!
... sweetly, and oh-so-carefully.

But then my look to you, and ...

And my eyes would be smoldering, wouldn't they?

I mean, well.

I mean, I'm just looking to see if you're okay, you know?

I'm not in the hunt, I'm not ravishing you with my eyes, I'm not taunt, from fingertips to toetips, with lust and desire.

I'm not a lot of things,
... until you look back, and bite your lip, and look away so demurely.

And then ...

And then ...

And then, well, the hunt is over, and the game is up, and you will know why I am called a panther, because when I snarl and pounce, and embrace you with my too, too desperately needing embraces and caresses and licks and sucks and kisses and rubs and ...

And I will love you like you have never been loved, and I will put my whole body and my whole mind into loving you.

And when we make love, we will make love, we will love each other as we make love each other.

And I will love you until you are all loved up, and you will be satiated, exhausted, overwhelmed, drained by my utterly consuming love.

And this not only from the complete workout I give to every muscle and nerve-ending to your body, no, sweetheart, this is a complete fuck. This is a fucking serious fuck of both the body and the mind, and you will be consumed by the fire in my eyes and the passion in my heart.

And I will love you, as no man nor woman has ever loved you before. And years later you will remember our love-making, it will be incendiary and unforgettable.

It will scar your memory, as a comet scars the pitch darkness with its brilliant arc of light across the nighttime sky.

I'm not bragging: I know.

Years later, pleading emails from C_ and J_ and A_ and J_ and H_ and B_ and K_ and on and on and on ... just 'to see' how I'm 'doing.'

'Doing,' yes. I 'did' them. I so entirely 'did' them, body and mind and soul, that they are marked for life.

And when I 'do' you, you know you've been 'done,' and you will not know it now, but you've been marked for life.

Young or not as young as me, you have never and will never have a lover like me.

In bed, or out.

Because I will love you, in bed, and out.

I will bring home flowers for you today, just because I saw them,
... and they are for you.

I will quote you a poem today, reading it out line by line, because it struck me,
... just as you smite me.

I will quote you lines from my stories, and these lines will evermore be yours, and you will know, when you read my story ... again
... that those lines were written about you and were written ... for you.

I will prepare and cook you gnocchi, and you will see my grandmother's hands as I kneed them into their clam-shapes, lovingly shaping them,
... one by one by one.

And then I will clean up afterwards, and wash the dishes as you have that big meeting tomorrow to prepare for.

And I will love what you do on your job, and praise you as you create your successes and mourn your failures and strategize with you your come-backs, believing in you the whole time.

You will have no greater cheerleader in the world than me. When I see you, I see your greatness, your power, your shining beauty and creativity, your love and care, your contribution to the world in great ways and in small ways, in every way, because they are in your ways.

My eyes look to see, and when they see you ...

They see you.

You.

That great, wonderful, loving, caring, confident, intelligent, powerful, tender person that you are.

If I were your lover, ... I would love you.

But I'm not your lover, and ...

Well, ...

Sad loss for you, isn't it? You know what you're missing. Me. Me, who is like no other. Me, who sees like no other. Me.

And sad loss for me, isn't it? I know what I'm missing. You.

And you don't know what I'm missing,
... but I know: I've seen how you see yourself in the way you speak to me, but I've seen the real you.

And I know what I'm missing.

You.

If I were your lover,
... but I'm not your lover.

And more's the pity for me, and more's the pity for you.

If I were your lover, ... I would love you.