It began, AWFUL NOISE : Another Man, Another Funeral
or Parade of Benign Children: Victims, also, of Masculinity
It ended with knees, packed on caps of bloody dirty and an irregular finger shoved into my mouth. Word choice, word choice, word choice you demented bitch–
[she slings me across her lap, face-down into the sand box. I am wearing white stockings, unzipped red skirt (metal in back), black blouse with the Doleman sleeves; blush and hairpins: the unintentional parasites. She has a brown leather saddle strapped around her knees, cradling my gut while I inhale the rubble below]
Of course it is humiliating.
Eliza: “It’s time to play a game, Rachel! Can you hear me from down there with your face in the sand?”
I: “I am no longer afraid of you, woman. While you were away sailing with Vile Men, I travelled to your house in a suit and touched all objects inside. It’s true: my fingers anointed your belongings with my oil. Therefore, you have no more secrets and can no longer hide yourself from me. I wore your dresses and put my dirty feet into your bed. Let me up from your lap now!”
In the center of our sandbox, a drain releases its seal. A sinkhole opens directly beneath us as we scratch at the wooden walls; are afraid of dying; are still very in love. Eliza begins to cry, which ends the box’s intolerable leaking. Male tears are a valuable ore (which means they are worth a lot of money; we adore money). The stockings are ruined, but I don’t notice because my wife is spanking me through sobs. Euphonious melody, marking time and
crescendoed reddening of girlish flesh, cut with a layer of course salt between palm and cheek
memorizing each masterful note; each downbeat; each excruciating pitch forward and back; each thrust of my pelvis into the saddle; with charred smack and hospitable blow, Eliza is saving my life.
Eliza crammed a wildflower into my left ear before whispering a poem into it:
The Blue-Eyed Eskimo
Whether men can live off protein alone
In fact, my mother died when He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named was throwing
[a party which was a Prelude to Slaughter] for an
imbalance of feminine hand, quail egg, insufferable drone of the
Austrian cuckoo with nosy moon scraping across a woman’s parted lips
dribbling warm water onto her own exposed breasts
you, my darling, are cream-top yogurt, fresh snow, my long-lost silk shirt
rediscovered, found dusty beneath the couch where I masturbated and came for the very
first time in spring.
Ceremoniously, we entwined. We couldn’t keep from leaking as darkness descended, flushing the dirt from our knees, the sand from our mouths, and salt from our palms. We shared the cold bath: a sleep spent outdoors while animals, busied with their nighttime rituals, looked on and admired the subtle rise-and-fall of our emaciated female chests.