The sleep by Vicky Lytaki


Twitter  @vclytaki

We cuddle. Coupled and consumed by ripples of release, swathed in sweet languor. Night night

darling, big hug and nuzzle. I’ll roll over now to fall asleep.

Your rugged warmth pulls apart, your skin breaks touch, the bed splits in two, your side and mine.

Your sleep and mine. I’m left stranded. Snuggled on your back I’d rather nestle in your arms, but I

peel myself off and slink to my side. If we swapped sides would we face each other or end up in

the same position? I’ll ask you to try tomorrow, if you’re not too weary.

Bodies back to back, my tender limbs yield in the lock of your legs. The remainder of your touch a

consolation for having to face the dark on my own. Tonight I must be brave. I entreat your

brightness to guide me out of the shadows. You sustain me. Your breath is my lullaby, your scent

my soporific, I see your beauty behind my eyelids and let the night seize me in motionless life.

Has the body rebuilt and repaired now? Because I know I can shift again, yet not fully revived. In a

confluence of needs I meet you in the middle of the bed, in the middle of the night, in a tight

embrace. Are you as afraid of the dark as I am?

Hands find their resting places on delicate curves and pitch-honed muscles. This is private land

marked by gentle strokes and firm squeezes, nibbles and plunges. The mind wanders in the

sleeping tangle of bodies. I’m carried away as my fingers trace the valleys and hammocks of your


I set off on my own, I schlep through unknown markets, trudge in fenland, clamber over boulders,

they contuse and claw my soft flesh. I know the sea is not too far. The saline scent tingles at my

nostrils. When I reach the coast I can board the ship to London, back to you. I must reach it before

the night falls. For wraiths lie in wait and I’m trembling. I run, I fall, I toss and turn. I run. ‘Thalatta,


I wonder why the sea now smells like tea. Sea is only a letter from tea. Muttering mouth grabs at

mine. I hold on for dear life.


Silver sea by Vicky Lytaki,


Twitter  @vclytaki

Ahead, the white shore pours effulgent into its liquid fold. The wet embrace envelops him in

vicarious delight. There is a light breeze. Flickers on the silver sea bounce the light coming through

the cracks in a slate sky above. The new day, tentative, calls out in luminous filaments that guide

the gaze to the right, where the perfectly level sand raises in undulating dunes wearing blond tufts.

His eyes follow the glow, rest for a moment on the soft mounds, then travel back to the left to fix on

her sensuous silhouette. He is only ever allowed a glimpse of her velvet cheek and slender neck

behind those cascading auburn waves. Enough to send ripples to his groin. She’s leaning on the

back of a bench that used to seat the customers of a disused and otherwise desolate ice-cream

kiosk. Its awning, wind-torn and sun-bleached, flaps in a nod to former frivolous times.

It’s too early to be out on her own, he frets. He should be back in bed too, by his sleeping wife. But

he can’t tear his eyes off her. He traces the outline of her back, he’s studied every inch of it, how it

bends and flexes so seductively. He is tempted to reach out and clench his hand on the delicate

waist, pull her close and bury his head in that luscious hair, feel the brush of her derrière on his hip.

His loins stir.

She must have been out collecting seashells again. The beach is strewn with them. Crinkled, fanshaped,

blanched and hoary hued. Hard on the outside, vulnerable on the inside, dinky things.

Maybe his affinity to them is why she lets him in her world. In turn he lets her in on all his private

failings, in his job, his marriage, his thoughts. She’s as tender to him as she is to all the washed up

empty vessels.

She keeps the shells with the trove of miniature vials and vases for her beauty creams and potions

on the ivory dressing table. Not that she needs any help in that respect, her beauty is exalting. She

likes to caress and look at the diaphanous nests as the morning light softly penetrates and dances

through the glass. If he closes his eyes, he’s in her boudoir, her ardent eyes and skilful fingers

dancing on his fervent flesh.

It’s all an imagining, the woman, her bedroom, her life. It is he who can’t sleep, who leaves his

warm bed, who has bequeathed his desire to be made whole onto the insensate painting. He sits

there at half past four, five in the mornings and fashions the picture on his living room wall into

erotic fantasies. A bubbling stream of intimate thoughts pours forth, as he pleasures himself before

her turned figure.

Afterwards, he will get in the shower, swig a bitter coffee and catch his train to the City. Till

tomorrow, my love.


Twitter  @vclytaki


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.