Seksby Bayard Johnson
publish this, she said, and we can be famous among the
nobodies of literary fiction
- swore I won't drink any more and stuck to it for what
feels like years, asked what I should bring to party, red
wine,stopped at Sav-ons on Sunset near Vermont and pick
up bottle from Columbia Gorge, my neck of woods, like label
and picked up second bottle, pull over at park crawling with
homeless, pushed cork in and drank one, got lost in hills and
roar up to right address by accident
- half hour late but first to arrive, everyone else late
on purpose, set helmet by fireplace, nobody seems aware
I'm sitting because I can't stand, everyone's a writer or actor
or musician, head gyrating and small talk makes my stomach
sick, steel my nerves and walk into kitchen, I'm alone and puke
in sink, silently I think, maybe nobody hears
- a woman came in and told her name, I remembered it
from somewhere and take a guess and tell her I read her
story, liked it, she says why you staring at my boots?
- just saw them resting on my shoulders
- don't say that, I believe in premonitions
- yeah, well
- did you have to tell me?
- I shrugged
- gonna be famous? I heard something about
- I laugh
- I can tell my daughters about how, you know, show
'em these boots, here can you sign this magazine
- wow, I don't know, that who I am?
- isn't it?
- better go ask someone
- living room, everyone eats, I take food and pretend to
be present, belched and belched, tasting it again and again
- resolved to never drink again
- hostess invites me upstairs to see something, holds
open magazine in front of my face, story where her lover
returns so she hangs herself, I read it twice, time blurs, saw
her swinging from black stocking, do you have to get back to
your guests? I think I say
- no why should I she says, descending from her noose
- close the door then
- she did and turns around, nipples poking through dress
for the first time
- kneel and push up skirt, no underwear above stockings,
she leans back against door with legs apart, head tilts back,
purrs, rubbing her back against door, dress drops over my
head making world green
- is this silk?
- over here she says and pulled me across hall into room
with big bed, skirt comes up over hips jeans come down sheathed
black knees clamp my ribs
- got a rubber? she says in my ear
- no, got herpes or anything?
- I'm clean
- me too
- in, you sure go deep I think or say, yeah she breathes
- slow or fast?
- slow or fast?
- slow she says, only my boyfriend'll come looking for me
- lives here, don't stop, good, better hurry
- want come?
- dunno, might get pregnant
- what's the point?
- put my mouth in her ear and murmur seks over and over
- is that a mantra?
- don't believe in birth control I say spiralling inside canal
- oh shit
- only, won't know if it's me or boyfriend
- only fucks me with rubber
- come instantly in a blur and he's rapping on door calling
a name, I pull up jeans and go out window, slide off shingles
onto balcony, crash over hot barbecue, duck around side of
house and scramble through ivy to alley and motorcycle,
shit, helmet's inside I stood still and guy busts through gate
and peers up alley looking for headlights, stomps other way
down alley, I go in, small talk and smoke, hissing from
balcony where hostess dumped red wine on barbecue coals,
can't find helmet
- ask around, painter from Africa painting face and long
blond hair on helmet, looks like me, pulled it on and ride with
big round head pounding, night freezing, lost in hills, freeway looms,
find wrong ramp first and spin around long way through Valley
toward coast, wife, baby, hangover, woke up at 2:15, call,
male answers, mumble in Spanish, hang up
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