Things Subtle Yet Powerful
A muscular back. The fragrance of shaving cream late in the day. The outline of summer lightning.
There are things subtle but not powerful, like a woman’s voice. There are things powerful but not subtle, like a man’s opinion. Then they meet and tumble, drunk, in bed, and you get Sei Shonagon.
My first lover prizes delicacy. In music he prefers the French to the Germans, the ivories of Debussy to the brass of Beethoven. In literature, he reads Kawabata, and not Kurt Vonnegut. He also has a brittle constitution. I am drawn to strength, brimming but restrained by the lip of a cup. The restraint I learned from him.
The influence of a good teacher. That of a bad one. Freshly fallen snow.