The sound of running water changed, deepening in tone with fill of the ivory claw-foot tub.  She listened, passively, letting mind drift as steam rose and filled behind white drawn curtain.  Cloud of steam billowed and shaped the spirit of angled light through window into framed form—its golden cast turned deeper amber through filter of cloud and curtain’s veil.

                She stripped free of the robe she wore in wait for water to warm, and left it to lie in place where fallen at bath’s side.  The first sense-shock of humid heat struck upon her, before, cool and guarded skin.  She stood, absorbing sense as water further filled and heat continued building. 

                Next, she stepped with long and flowing legs into waiting comfort of water’s embrace, falling with a fluidity into bath’s enveloping warmth.

                Ochre towels, the color of clay and ferrous earth—hue of worn and tired ground, colored and changed from lifetimes of giving—hung from hooks upon her wall, and of their color, she imagined her own giving, her own need for rest and recovery from a world that will take too much if one does make purpose to rest, heal, and tend to one’s self.  In enveloping embrace of warm and holding waters, she restored.

                A picture held on the wall, a black and white dream of a trip she would take again: a lover’s view, in a lover’s city, for living a lover’s dream.

                She closed her eyes as body rested further to recline.  Her long, straight hair fanned in spread across water’s face before settling in absorption down to place beneath her resting head.

                In the heat of the water, she released.  Mind freed from body, drifting into beginning course and dream, as body stayed in rest. 


                She stood on the bridge: an autumn day, clear sky, of warm and purling winds.  Beneath, flotillas of crimson and auburn dreams, released from casting trees, floated on river for the ideal of distant sea on crests of sun-capped waves blown and shaped by winds and currents of the Seine. 

                She dreamed the view: the white of the bridge, its balustrades and hold of coupled streetlights made for lovers’ pause—for sights and sentiments and quiet kisses in break of haste from life’s often living rush. 

                She dreamt the cool of the air, the heat of his hold and lips, and the quiet of their after-smiles filled with the living sounds of passing cars on street, winds in sky, and river of autumn leaves and light beneath. 

                She imagined the city, stone and pattern laid in splendor of intended, enlightened, sameness.  However, in experience, the city was not a world of sameness but a world of living blood, place of transcendence, like nowhere else on earth: a maze of living history, stories, and romance; where one may read on the streets, in rooms—absorbing energies from all that came before and, too, of lives to follow after; a city of nooks and hides for gentle kisses, with rooms and views for stronger passions; where romance, love, and celebration of the corporeal treasure of existence—a transcendence in itself—inspires, leaving spirit and flesh alive in the heat and glow of lived passion and glory. 

                It was a city of love and stories: stories to write and tell, live and share, and some—the greatest, most intimate, and true—saved forever for one’s self and other in whom they are written.

                She breathed deep, feeling her chest swell and the beginning of her body change—in the moment, heat, and drift of dream—wishing not to be alone.


                “Someday…” she told herself as mind continued in the current of her dream.