whimpers like a phoenix
feeling the first flame. 'Sorry,' he says.
against her breasts. Rolls off. 'S'okay' she whispers stroking his soft
skin. As he plunges into sleep. Rivers flood the valleys of her
. Eyes hot, huge pools of magma
. Urgent as safety
signs in a live steel mill.
. A match striking. A flame grows
stronger at her core. She sees it through her skin. A ghost captured
from corner of her eyes. Aching. She stumbles
. Every orgasm
projects against the screen of her
Slow Motion. Pixilated. Real time. Animated. Reverse. Special FX
all night. She wakes when she feels the sun forcing its way through
her eyelids. She sees through her skin, through her organs. Her bones
feel like kindling. Underneath her belly button, two inches in front of
flammable spine, a small blue flame. (It is
as if the sun knows)
what's inside of her. The sun
is woman pressing her fingers on the dividing glass
in a prison visiting room. Pretends it doesn't hurt.
Takes a mop to the floor. Re-organizes her filing cabinet. Digs out
her old vibrator
. Isn't working. Hunts for valium.
Irons all the clothes
in the house. She presses into hope. It is
stubborn as a curl working itself loose from a tight braid. In the
the flame shudders. Crying
out, she clutches her belly, shakes her head. Her breath tormented fast.
blood stains her perfect bleached white panties.
Brownish red flakes
on her smooth thighs and calves. Her uterus
has gone up in flames.
She paces back and forth.
In the shower she turns the dial to pulse. Gulps cold
throbbing water. Hot tears. The flame waits. Uneasy,
she chatters lightly on the phone. Sounds like a dying person comforting
everyone with brave optimism. At her favorite coffee shop, she chugs
raspberry flavored expresso
like shots of whiskey. Imagines standing in brambles. The red juice
her mouth, her teeth, her fingers, her chin, her breasts wet with sweetness
like a lover's starving
tongue leaves glistening trails in its devouring wake. The flame
a loud pop like a balloon. Startled she looks around to see if anyone
sparkle, mouths strive to touch the person across the table. Carefully,
she walks to the bathroom. Her skin feels like tissue paper. The rough
brown towels feels shred
her burning skin as she wipes away the powder of her ovaries. A walk
would cool her.
Dusk does not extinguish
the growing inferno.
Looking out over the city, for the first time, she notices all the cars at
rush hour look like blood
corpuscles racing through veins. Her eyes land on the round stadium. Eyes
narrow. The lights
on the cars grow tails. Her heart jumps. They swirl and dive like sperm
a taunting ovum. She needs a drink. She
something. She calls him to let him know where she is. In case he worries.
In case. Waiting in the bar,
she eyes a bottle of Glen Livet. The flame
has taken over her entire pelvis. Jeering pulses. Afraid to dull her
with alcohol. Instead, she stirs a soda with one finger. Pushes the ice
Sucks the sweetness off of her finger tip. Men send her drinks as if they
are little boys again
playing fire fighter. Can they can see the flame?
She feels him before he enters. Every step toward her makes the flame
churn and dance. She smells him.
The soft cooling gust of breath as he leans in to kiss her neck. She feels
like a birthday cake.
Relief softens her. Cools her rigid body. When she turns to meet his lips,
her tongue lashes out
like a desert insect stealing the last drop of dew. He chuckles. His hand
kneads the small of her back.
She almost cries out. Catches people watching her.
He shares his grueling day. She doesn't tell him about the flame. He
her distraction. She invents ways to make him touch her. The flame
challenges her. A small bonfire now. In the bathroom, she feels her ribs
collapse like logs.
Coughs. Carefully, scoops the dust off the counter into paper towels.
Folds it carefully.
Puts it in her purse. It must be time
to go. She urges him out of a conversation. 'Hurry,' she whispers in his
ear. She can not think
anymore. Just barely in the door of their apartment, she tears off his
clothing. His laughter husky
as he slowly undresses her. The teasing cools. She shivers joyfully. His
tongue on her nipples.
She guides him inside of her. Her heart is now old soggy wood. The flame
at it at as he thrusts. She feels a rush of cold. Moans. 'Yes.' His
back arches. His muscles lock
him deep inside of her. An eyedropper on a five alarm inferno.
Her eyes go wide. Heart explodes like a Molotov cocktail. Bones conduct
like a fuse. Muscles and organs detonate. Rupture. He is startled by
the raw horror contorting
her face. Eyes, then skin, then brain as he starts say, 'sorry."
There is only a pile of dust where she stood
--Svaha (Her Divine Serenity)