Monday, July 16, 2007


I. I was prettier, sexier then, and used my beauty like a siren to devour men I thought I wanted. I put myself into increasingly precarious positions. I took chances with my body that I would not take today. II. Out in the night alone like a Gemini half excited, half depressed; Sauntering slowly on the dark side of the street, listening to the sound of my heels clicking in time, on the sidewalk to the rise and fall of my breath. My perfume swirling like a tendril of smoke, infused with the pungency of the vintage suede jacket I wore while looking for trouble. III. I felt isolated sitting at the bar drinking beer as dark as his skin. I could feel him stealing glances at me, noticing the hem of my dress mounting my thigh, diaphanous and white. I could feel his stare so intent that I knew I sat there in the bar suddenly naked. IV. His apartment scattered with candles, incense, smooth jazz hung my thoughts suspended in the air. Hearing him speak, but not hearing his words as he slid the heels from my feet, as he slid the stockings from my thighs, as his oppression hovered over me; thinking “He is twice my size, strong as an ox.” Thinking “How will I get out of this one?” V. The fiendish look on his face had a sobering effect. My mouth started making sounds, and spewing proclamations of shame and blame. He looked bewildered as I inched my way from under his chest, more bewildered as I put on my heels leaving the stockings on the floor like the shed skin of a sidewinder. I grabbed my coat and slithered out the door. VI. I walked the dark streets again, this time not knowing where I was, or how to get home. I no longer felt powerful. The weight of my stupidity numbed me, embarrassed me, and the only living soul on the street was a menacing man with a stare worse than the one I just escaped. I asked him, “Where do I catch the 15?’ He pointed across the street and smiled as if he had a secret that I didn’t want to know. VII. 3 am I made it home to the boarding house of transplanted strangers, my family, with feet sore, ego wounded. Roger waited up for me, knowing me better these days than I know myself, and I slipped into bed with him, into something safe and easy, and devoured him instead. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote in My Coffee #78

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