Alan Hero hears labia applause
by Lily James
To her there is marriage. This favorite need woman who does not stray. She's on the bed in the sex fat house fingering the diaphragm. She's put in several starchy sponges like rolaids and spermicide, in the past. Toward positioning and elimination. She gets a kick out of it. The thing about marriage is, the two become one. And those two, that become one, are to be joined as two. To become. Putting her fingers under the covers and over the covers.
if she were to die it would be by fire. if she were to extinguish it would be by glamor and flame. standing on the roof it would erupt between her legs, and with one hand on the roof vent of the heaters, one arm flung toward heaven, she would be shot upward slightly as the licking came through the roof exploding up from under. it would be a chemical fire. she would be able to see the rift approaching across the roof. and would have just enough time to assume she would die burning. the night sky over her deadens it directly. she sinks only singed into the fire legs still splayed and arms clutching bits of tar paper flaming.
"you were most likely a witch in one of your former lives" says the diviner.
In this way she learned the inherent tragic symmetry of the human body, which would appear to her escapable by nothing but death. But to lay him out for sex when he arrived was easy and was uncomplicated.
Here is Pennsylvania and a camp meeting grounds six miles west of Puncsatawny. Her father stands full of cancer in the second quadrant (- , +) at the podium of the tabernacle. Grounds bisected by the ravine which is parallel to route 80, and the main road which goes from tents through dormitories to permanent cabins, passing by the young people's tabernacle and the large public outhouse, rising over the ravine in a bridge where the young people congregate at dusk, after their prayer meeting. Here is Illinois with Chicago in the Northeast corner, bisected by 94 and 290. Alan stands full of colitis in the fourth quadrant (+ , -) at the podium in a basement at the University of Chicago surrounded by rapt socialists whose elbows stick out onto metal and formica tables that make a square. Each socialist on the same side of the table as Alan has to twist his head 90 degrees to see him and hear him correctly. Each socialist on the connecting sides must twist his head an average of 45 degrees to see him correctly. Of course the socialist directly across from Alan does not have to twist, but can look straight ahead, making a line with his eyes which cuts the table in two around them.
She is aware that there are two ways to combine these two maps. In one combination the belly button represents Toledo, and Puncsatawny lies to the east, Chicago to the west and north. So the torso would perform the task of representing some part of America, which makes a certain kind of sense, in a general and diseased way. However, she determines that the more ingenuous plan is to lay the two maps over each other, so that the belly button represents (approximately) both the Sears Tower and the bridge over the ravine, positioning the father and Alan in roughly opposite locations, but giving a more accurate picture overall. Now the Chicago basement, lying over the large intestine, and the Pennsylvania tabernacle, right lung, can be clearly delineated. In the Chicago basement, the question of whether the myth of democracy only exists to satiate the human desire for autonomy created by the lure of a capitalist economy, in the tabernacle a call to the mission field and a promise of crowns in paradise. Stop paying lip service to the devil. It is possible to live an absolute life. His skin crawls in anticipation.
Tracing this plan onto herself, she finds that the source of the egg must be the left ovary. If both ovaries produce then there is competition and confusion. If the right ovary produces (quadrant three) there is disease. If the right ovary produces an egg, there is faith and no wife beating. Horrible to think of the randomness under which she could be operating. Compromise. She contracts the muscles in her left buttock very quickly, encouraging the advent of an egg. If she feels it coming out the wrong side she will shut it down. She has counted days and degrees. She can do that again.
With his body spread out in this way on the bed she allows her breasts to make what shapes they will on both sides of his sternum two circles. Awe can be inspired in Puncsatawny and Chicago. To bite the rib cage fervently or to slowly drive the tongue in circles down the groin she spans really the entire southeast side almost to Indiana, while arousing points along the ravine and on up past the Franklin cabin into the woods. She spreads her fingers behind his shoulder blades and licks the hollow behind the collar bone, one breast hovering over the tabernacle, one hip bone planted firmly in Hyde Park. Alan is on pain killers, his ulcer is in action, his ulcer is to be avoided. She moves up so when the penis comes up it presses into her thigh between leg and leg it pushes itself into that space. Suddenly there is a chalk artist and a puppet show at the young people's tabernacle, and the discussion level at Alan's conference has risen to the level of the illuminati, it would seem, how best to reprogram the world, how best indeed.
The first thing to be done by her is to shut off the colitis and ulcer. To create a cavity where the arthritis and the digestive disorders can coagulate peacefully somewhere in the third quadrant (- , -). This involves a realignment of the stomach to the other side of the x axis, counting the body as planar algebra, and not Euclid. Looking down at the torso it is a simple shift, then some sort of membrane which is permeable to of course gas, but not to any kind of virus or sperm. Of course the sperm/anti-sperm ratio being disturbed by this isolation, some osmotic interaction could result. She terms it negligible. The sperm are down in the testicles anyway.
The difference between the two maps on their stomachs pressed together is that one is not a mirror image. They do not coincide. To her it seems easier to turn around and fuck him backwards, looking down at his feet and with her ass to his face because this would make clear the left right distinction and she would not be able to mess it up. But in her moment of power she is not tempted to degrade him. When she has worked out all this to achieve some say and to call in some higher power, to call up a third party, she is not willing to allow any victory to make her sour. She is used to fucking on top, and there is no reason to fuck ass backwards.
There comes the tearing when the dick goes in her, familiar, desire to be struck. Here is the image of him pounding up through her and the wicked woman exposed, burned, and sunk. Dividing the left ovary from the right he can separate out that witch that won't think for herself from the good happy woman making wise decisions and he can send himself into the diaphragm anyway, unwilling to commit semen to one with the other there jeering. He is on top again pushing away at her, attempting to reach her throat, uncareful which hipbone gets the most weight, so she pulls him into a kiss and rights herself to slow him down before he ruins everything.
Look, she says about his mind, he can amaze and defend and offend. She likes to think of him talking to the socialists who can follow where he has been but he jumps ahead while the smartest ones walk sturdily behind. What has been said about the father is that his sermons are so densely cross referenced, who can conceive of the Bible in this complicated way, everyone says. He keeps them on the edge of their seats, it is said. And sick. And without notes. Here is Alan been throwing up blood, here is father so grey and losing one pound for every day. Holding them. Here is the new x axis connecting Puncsatawny to Chicago, and here is the new y axis connecting genitals to brain, and the dick is a vector in the plane of z, with coordinates: (0,-5,0), (0,-5,5). Her planes and vectors are of course less stable, but when it comes to a question of priority, the genital to brain channel must be clean, straight, and clever. No buildup. No letdown.
There is a terrible sadness in her. As she lowers her hips down onto him she is conscious of the shift left, the movement of right to left to turn d vector into the fourth quadrant (puncsatawny, chicago, pancreas) and out of the third quadrant (colitis, cancer, nobleness and error). After the angle is achieved, she is sweating and he pants, there is only to draw the vector repeatedly into the z plane and out, the collision of systems bending to destroy and create the vector as far as it gets it becomes monumental, arrow to the left ovary which bulbs and produces bulb. At the moment when the agitation is so great in the womb and fatherstuff, there is great revival and great hope in the meeting hall, great determination in the basement. She can make it seem like this the socialists coming to the altar and the fundamentalists waving union signs, and drawing a strong black line down the x axis from the brain, she pulls it up through the vector, leaving it flat and wrinkled on the horizontal plane, and pulling it on up into her body. And Janie, sick with cancer and absolutely ill with colitis, having recently taken hard and dangerous drugs, conceives a child.
if she were to be killed on the water, the river raft would be split in two the rapids, mountains chasms rising up on either side, only sunlight sharp and undiluted by air coming down on her small raft she had been clutching with her arms, to hit and skid over a protruding rock, causing a split in the shiny skin, leaving her left leg on a different piece from her right. then the legs would strain at pulling together the pieces, the legs would ravenously struggle with the water's chaotic pull. one groan echoes up through the layers of rock and desert and is rushed over by the cracking of wood against wood, and her legs are dragged toward each other into the water, or they are so strong that they remain on the raft bits and her body is torn begun there and carried up through to her head.
"most likely you were killed while they tried to figure out if you were a witch" the diviner says.