by CAROLYN BANKS
Untitled by Rowena Waack | Flickr
He reads my poem. “But you’re not married,” he says. Right. Not only is there a husband in the penultimate line, but a son, even earlier. “I guess it’s good,” he says, trying to mend things, erase his memory of the look that swept across my face.
“It’s okay,” I tell him. “You don’t have to like it.” I rub my bare foot against his to tell him it really is okay, “I’m used to it, really.”
“I’ve never met a poet before,” he says. “And I sure as hell never slept with one.” We both laugh, his laugh real, I think.
“We’re a dying breed.”
“Not just yet,” he says, flopping atop me.
I had something more tantric in mind, but I open my legs, lift and tip my hips to receive him.
“It’s so good,” he says, “So fucking good.” Over and over until it happens for him.
He drops away, both our bodies wet with sweat and cold beneath the whirring ceiling fan. Then he rolls onto his side, puts his hand on just the right spot. “Your turn,” he tells me.
“It’s okay,” I say, the second time tonight. I catch his hand, but worry: I’m not used to my own noncompliance.
“No you don’t,” he wags his finger at me. “I’m going to stay right here until I make you scream.”
“Meg Ryan in ‘When Harry Met Sally,’” I offer
“Never mind. I was talking about an old movie.”
“I didn’t know how it would be,” he says. “With someone older.”
“And how is it?”
He flops atop me again. “It’s good. It’s fucking good.”
“Look,” I say, “I really need to get some sleep. Okay?”
He rolls off. Pouts. I scooch sideways and there he is, flat on his back, biting his lower lip. His erection is not to be ignored.
I sit up, wrap my fingers around him. The procedure takes forever. I have to use a lot of my tricks. I gather spit in my other hand, for instance, and rub it, sticky and wet, against his balls.
“Uh, uh,” he says.
He comes. Eventually, he issues a deep sigh and gives me a big smile. He takes my hand in his, raises it to his lips, and kisses my hand, come and all. That’s a new one, I think.
“I want to read your poem again,” he tells me.
“I think it’s on the floor.”
He leans over the edge of the bed, looking for it.
“I think it’s on my side,” I say, reaching down, grabbing a corner of the sheet of paper. I hand it to him.
“I’m going to read it out loud. It’s weird, but I think I get it now.”
“Okay,” I say. When he stops reading, I’ll kiss him, give him what he wants, The oh-oh-oh, the scream, the panting, the clawing, all of it.
And we’ll both be satisfied.
Carolyn Banks has a long and continuous record of publication, including four suspense novels (The Darkroom, Mr. Right, Patchwork, The Girls on the Row) and a five-book comic mystery series based in the equestrian world. (Death by Dressage, A Horse to Die for, Murder Well-Bred, Death on the Diagonal, Groomed for Death) She has just completed a novel entitled, Certain Children. She lives in Bastrop, Texas, and teaches English at Austin Community College.