There’s a particular mouth, a kind of mouth, that certain men I know possess. It’s not a sensual one, not the thick lower lip or the wide easy smile, the soft tongue, or fierce white teeth, or the smell of nicotine. It’s really just a sort of pucker, a tightness, yes, a bit like that. But really it’s about the set of the jaw, the control behind the setting of the jaw, a muscle contraction, a well-managed temper, the second before the jaw is set, the moment before the mouth draws tight, lips together, eyes burning with irritation, usually ice blue, where you can see the impatience briefly flash and then be harnessed, again. They are intelligent. They burn. It’s unintentional. It’s not for my benefit. It simply is, and I see it and I burn when I do, or my chest fills with inhale.

These men might be type A personalities. They might be highly educated, they might lead lives which are balanced, in some way or other, and to some extent, between art and science. Logic, data, figures to the left, hungrily fucking with every cell of their being the entire world around them on the right, like smearing an expensive feast across your face and the faces of your dinner companions, dripping on your silk blouse, wine spilling across the table and pooling by the candlesticks, the waiter rubbing himself and groaning. Pearls softly burst their strings and pop to the floor, rolling. It’s almost bloodlust.

And then I wake up from my revelry, blink, shake my head, a minuscule twitch. Fantasy like that is strictly for the space we create in our minds, and books and porn.

But… I fall quickly under that wave. I recover but I have to travel far back to the surface. These men, these particular men, with these particular mouths, they see it. They know it. We play a game together, pull and release, tag and drop. It’s a metaphysical strip tease, a sensual torture far, far, far below the surface, which has nothing to do with beauty, perfume, good jobs or expensive clothing or even being human, or animal, for all I know. It’s like the elements of the universe circling and colliding in a sick primordial zombie waltz.

What’s more, we sometimes like one another, sometimes we work together, sometimes we pass on the street, sometimes they hate me, sometimes we are unkind. Nevertheless, the tantra is there. We all know it. We who swallow and suck every molecule around ourselves recognize each other, despite all masks, even when we will never, ever express it. Sometimes we can do it without even seeing one another. Sometimes the energy reaches its mark only light years after it’s been delivered. I believe it lives that long.

I attended a concert once, of a band that had pulled me by force of its sulking magic through a difficult semester of graduate school. Something about the sound, too many notes at once, chord after chord of misery and aching beauty and exacting perfection, more diffuse than a symphony, all ecstatic, all angry, all sensual, all awkward, all everything I knew at that time. We sat in orange chairs, sticky floor and laser beams. They began to play and the sound hit me square in the center of my chest. I lost my air. Something welled up from the floor into me, forcing through. A giant bead of light and feeling, and as it traveled up through me, legs, bowels, guts, ribs, heart, throat, choking me, I turned to my sometime-lover in the seat beside me, half crazed and flushed, and drawled, twice because he didn’t quite hear me or understand me, and hoped for a better message, that I did not know what to do with the music, but something had to be done, whether I would cry it, or fuck it, or fly upon it, or let it kill me for a very long time. I told him I did not know where my body was anymore, I was too small, and too big, and in every location at once. He frowned slightly, unsure what to say. It was uninteresting and weird. I turned back to myself and the concert continued. I pulled more beads through the floor, wanted to cry at the beauty of the feeling, which was harder to replicate. We were never quite as happy with one another after that.

Have you ever tricked someone into agreeing with you, simply by grabbing them with your invisible arms and shaking them? Or holding them or stabbing them with your intensions and desires? Have you ever attacked someone by thinking murderous thoughts? Perhaps our sensual world shimmers well beyond sweat and the smell of sex. I learned this when I noticed these mouths, these men. We are all dancing with each other. We dance, we attack, we hate and lust explodes us, and we see nothing of any of it. It’s all hidden. But you sense it, don’t you. You know it, too. You’ve had this. We both know. I feel you. I’m reaching myself out to you.

Here. Now, see? Now I’m pulling back. I’ve had enough. I’m taking it all back. You cannot have me anymore. I have other things to do, I’ll leave you alone now.

Be well. Goodbye. I’m very busy.

Perhaps we’ll meet again, perhaps we will not. It doesn’t matter. We are all the same flame, anyway.

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SIRI ZERNAND MÜLLER defines herself by the people who crowd her bed. She has a dog, a husband, a cat who also would like some recognition, and the occasional prophetic dream.

19 responses to “Tantra of Everyday Mouths”

  1. zoe zolbrod says:

    Always love your posts.

  2. zoe zolbrod says:

    But they are frustrating to read from a cube.

  3. Greg Olear says:

    Sublime as usual.

    I want to know who the band is. I’m thinking it’s not Hootie and the Blowfish…

  4. There it goes, alive on the page your writing. This was gorgeous and powerful. Thank you.

  5. Erika Rae says:

    You wield a mighty sword of power, woman. Respect.

  6. Erling Wold says:

    Such mystery. But the answer to all the questions, even half-understood, is yes.

  7. Siri Z. says:

    Well, Erling, once one has a “type” one probably finds oneself surrounded by it. Even at home.

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