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the little witches

I ate it because you wanted me to.

You showed me how to hold the shell in that tiny metal pincer, and squeeze. I could smell the garlic wafting up and I wondered if you’d be able to taste it on me afterwards.

I knew which fork to use. I knew which wine would best accompany the snails. I knew how to pronounce Rue Coquillière when you gave me the address, and how to ask for directions when I got lost near Les Catacombes, dusk spilling magic onto the cobblestones.

And I knew how to walk when I entered the restaurant, hips swinging slowly as the tapping of my heels sang a song every god damned man in that place listened to.

You ordered the snails. I didn’t tell you I’d never eaten them before. You showed me the pincer, and how to dig into the soft flesh with a tiny fork, flecks of chervil floating just below the shell. You wanted to be Paris for me and I…well, I wanted to swallow every mouthful.

You asked if I could translate the name of the restaurant. I smiled behind my wine glass and said yes, yes, if there were ever a word I would know, it would be that.

It’s what all French women are, he told me.

Les Petites Sorcières.

You leant over, and hooked a strand of hair behind my ear.

I licked a slick of butter from my lips, and watched your gaze drop to my mouth.

The Little Witches.

I felt the garlic spiral down my throat in a wash of cold wine. Candles flickered on the tabletops and threw dancing light across the pale ceiling. I was starting to feel the alcohol.

And I wanted to tell you, That’s not just French women.

But I reached for another shell as you slid your knee between mine, and kept silent.

I knew you’d find that out for yourself.

the little witches

bellmusker

Melbourne, Australia

Artist's Description

I had a dream in French last night.
It was indulgent, sensual, and full of light.
I miss Europe.


In Montmartre

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