And so they would come, each of them the same, but all of them different. They would wake me before they got to the door, the presence and strong telepathic head would do it, like Dirty John, or when they put the key in the lock, subtle and self-assertive, like Ivan, or when they walked possessive and heavy about the kitchen, like Antoine, or when they came to bed and kissed me hello, and I would kiss back, saying “Who?”—or kissing would recognize touch or texture: the smell of Pete’s musty clothes, or Don’s expensive cologne, or half-sense an aura in the dark.
And they would clamber half-clothed, hastily, into bed, or sit on the blankets and talk me awake, or they would have brought up some grass or some wine, and I would watch, tousled and sleepy, while they made a fire. There would be the B-Minor Mass to fuck to, or Bessie Smith, and we would have a moon, and open window breezes off the river, or dank, chilly greyness and rain beating down, and it was all good, the core and heart of that time. I thought it as fucking my comrades, and a year slipped by.
di Prima, Diane. Memoirs of a Beatnik. New York: Penguin Books, 1998.