Narcissus Shuddering

No one understood,

except that ubiquitous girl,
who, in a sort of ravenous empathy,
I believe, kept pinching and pawing me,
sliding her little chilly hands
up under my shirt,
and moaning,
which was distracting.

“Please, go,” I begged her.
“It’s a private thing,”
this heat stirring in my belly,
my smooth belly,
my downy belly; and just like that,
the poor wretch wailed pathetically,
her only original utterance all day,
and grabbed at the swollen
fold of cloth down below,
the hard, fat center of it all.

Frozen for one awful instant,
I shuddered,
almost sharing too much with her
almost wanting to share it.
But I’d always had acute sensibilities
about these matters.

When my heel cracked
against her brow,
the sound the sound
was exactly
like a melon breaking on a rock;
and the line of my calve where it met the curve of my ankle,
it was lovely.
I fell back for a time in the grass.

Even weeks later, my skin hanging in folds
indistinguishable from
the water lilies draped over oval stones
out in the river,
dying, fading into translucense;
even then, I alone
knew what I needed,
and just how,
and just when,
and held on, gripping tightly,
my ancient chin
working back and forth in the mud
at the water’s edge.

Narcissus Shuddering

jorel1380

Joined December 2007

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