You reach for the dips of her curves but an alarm rings in your mind, shrieking of the new year’s incunabula, warning you these moments define all the rest. Your fingers instead dash into her sides, digging in, spider-legs running up and down baby pink cashmere, feeling along her ribs and pushing against the force of her jump because she wasn’t expecting this. Her laughter is a scarf; it infinitely wraps around your neck and stays there. You familiarize yourself with its warmth because this is as far as you go. You pull back, hold your hands up in surrender because there is a line you don’t cross. Her giggles come in short breaths. She pushes you, playfully, before messing up her own hair, the locks cascading around her face, hugging her neck.
She places a hand on your stomach, and you feel the beginnings of a slow burn at the pit of it. You hide the arousal with a confused look.
Dance is a carnal aphrodisiac, had always angered spectators with its intimacy and movement. But the dance between two people who must measure the distance at which they stand draws half-lidded gazes and gaping mouths. Your feet think it best to add more distance, because the more you look at her, the more you don’t know what to do about the hair on her lip, or the soft skin of her jaw.
Familiarity is daunting. Closeness worse. She is bold and you are not.
Your clock croaks, reminds you that everything is set, timed–everything croaks. You smile and say nothing. You think it’s better to just leave it there. Leave it there like words unsaid. Her fingers will place the strand, someone will stroke her cheek, and this dance will end soon.