Friday, July 29, 2005

Jesus Christ.

In twilight they eat, still naked, salami sandwiches she makes, and drink whisky. Their house stays dark, though the others around them, that mirror it, turn on their lights. These neighboring lights, and the cars that pass along Vista Crescent, throw sliding soft witnesses into their room: the open shelves lunge like parallel swords, the driftwood lamp throws a rhinoceros-shadow, the school portrait of Nelson, in its cardboard frame on the mantel, from beneath the embalming tints of its color wash, smiles. To help them see when darkness comes, Janice turns on the television set without sound, and by the blush flicker of module models pantomiming flight, of riot troops standing before smashed supermarkets, of a rowboat landing in Florida having crossed the Atlantic, of situation comedies and western melodramas, of great gray momentary faces unstable as quicksilver, they make love again, her body a stretch of powdery sand, her mouth a loose black hole, her eyes holes with sparks in them, his own body a barren landscape lit by bombardment, silently exploding images no gentler than Janice's playful ghostly touches, that pass through him and do no harm. She inverts herself and pours out upon him the months of her new knowledge; her appetite frightens him, knowing he cannot fill it, any more than Earth's appetite for death can be satisfied. Her guilt became love; her love becomes rage. The first time was too quick but the second was sweet, with work and sweat in it, and the third time strainingly sweet, a work of the spirit almost purely, and the fourth time, because there was no fourth time, sad; straddling his thighs, her cunt revealed by the flickering touch of the television to be lopsidedly agape, she bows her head, her hair tickling his belly, and drops cold tears, starpricks, upon the slack flesh that has failed her.

"Jesus," he says, "I forgot. We were supposed to go over to Mom's tonight!"

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