Sunday, February 23, 2014

girl here girl there

This stranger takes two towels into the bathroom to shower. Dampens them both. One almost dripping. Not a trace of steam when she finally exits. Toothpaste stain on the mirror.

And from across the world she still writes letters. Daily. I feel obligated to open them. Some days I read them. Some days I sit down to write her back. I mail her nothing.

This stranger eats what I serve without comment. More Cabernet? Yes. My soap smells good on her. The shampoo not so much. While she pushes my food around her plate like a child, I make a note to find a good shampoo. Something more fully pungent.

And once, when she and I were we, I felt as if a bullet could not pierce my skin. My mind sharpened and my body strengthened. Dealing bottoms and seconds on Lyle Avenue in a room full of punk guineas and mobsters and taking down all the cash. She couldn't have been prouder.

This stranger is less awkward without clothes. Her description is unnecessary. She is of a type that I favor. Who has sex with a complete stranger? With a little imagination they all can be so familiar. When she bounces I encourage her to tilt her head back, throw her hair back. Just a bit more. Yes, like that.

And when they put their fists to my face and their heels to my ribs she was nowhere to be found. She stayed nowhere while I was in the hospital. And after. While I tried to learn to run twenty balls with mangled fingers. While I hardened. While I planned on those motherfuckers.

Her head rests on my chest. I decide I don't hate the shampoo. Push a finger across her scalp. Then two. Like a witless rumination.

The alarm clock rings now. I push her off of me. Dress myself. She is lethargic or she languishes. I don't care. Get out, girl. Get up and get out, girl. She frowns or maybe she pouts. Silly silly silly girl. Get the fuck out. Now, goddammit.

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