They (find you out and they) make you do it. You (have no option but to parley, to) put your cock in the wolf’s mouth one last time, to be dwarfed on the great tongue. The teeth prick. You grab handfuls of fur (as if) to fuck the mouth that will one day eat the sun but you (throw your head back because you) can’t meet his piss-yellow leer. Your balls are (cold and) burning tight, and whether (or not) you’re flaccid only you and the wolf know.
They begin the rope bondage while you look the grinning wolf in the mouth, in the eye. (The rope chafes: the root and sinew pinch, the beard itches, the spit and silence irritates.) You’re waiting for that first gloaming of suspicion, the twilit moment when (it all goes sour and fast and hot, and) the war ends, peace in your time, ceasefire in yellow and red seeds seeping into the earth to be ploughed by downed swords. You’re waiting to be found out again.
Later, when they tell this story, they’ll (think they’re taking pity on you when they) say it was your right hand.
Dirty penny sky at the moment between dawn and morning. Kebber drives to work and forgets the trip a mile at a time. These endless, overlapping cities pass beneath a vas deferens highway ejaculating single occupant vehicles into the womb of the valley. He likes to arrive early and undress in his cubicle, just to feel the exhilaration of staged exposure.
A recurring daydream: Kebber is an actor and he disrobes in a room full of technicians and directors and contractors. His co-star hides plastic surgery scars beneath a crust of makeup. The love-making will be simulated, as is all love. This is not a sexual fantasy, despite its overtones. A camera watches.
The day fills with people as disinterested as the clothing that wraps him in a tourniquet. Pocket computers vibrate; numb, stupid fingers diddle prenominal products without substance. A chin rests on Kebber’s palm. It has been there so long he’s not sure it’s his. Constricting digital clocks like hyenas.
He arrives early and stays late. Chrome and stars drown in the streetlamps while a garage door built for two opens itself. There is no release in homes, and life draws tighter and tighter and tighter.
I met my husband on my eighth wedding anniversary. He likes to tease me that I even procrastinated on my seven year itch. David, my ex, had taken me down to Florida for a few days of alone time, not a full week. He could never stand to be away from the office very long.
When I first saw Gregory, we were crowded into a tiny Italian restaurant with about six tables total. Greg was there with a date and you could tell right away that the date wasn’t going well; most of what I remember about her are the four cocktails she drank before they got a table. David and Greg struck up a conversation. David was always good at breaking the ice, getting to know people everywhere he went. He was awful at maintaining friendships, but he could make like he was best buddies with a guy he’d run into ten minutes earlier.
Greg was from The City, down to visit family who had arranged his ill-fated date, and we lived in Jersey at the time. It was coincidental but not uncommon to run into a fellow New Yorker this far south, but it got a little funny when Greg mentioned he was staying at the same Hilton we were, just a floor down from us.
I didn’t get much of an impression of Greg then. David did the majority of the talking, converting me into a conversational barnacle, just along for the ride. He had a way of talking for me, saying things like, “Did you watch the game on Sunday? We did. We just about lost it when Folk missed that field goal!” He’d say “we” like I had been right alongside him, wearing my team jersey and spilling beernuts in agitation when the team lost. David’s narrative excluded how I spent the afternoon doing laundry upstairs, looking up recipes on the computer, and fixing the kids a snack. Game time was always David Time, and I tried to play the doting wife, coming down every thirty minutes or so to bring him a fresh beer and see if he wanted any chips. He’d smile and pinch my butt in a distracted but affectionate way. Everything he ever did carried the implied suffix, “little lady.”