a very Bad Woman

Innocence, love, she sighed. The male put a hand on her knee. She glanced out the window at the garden, which was darkening. A censer swung from a wire and threat to tear a hole into a cluster of leaves. A breath plowed the branches open. Two birds exploded from a fork in the tree. From above, another pair of eyes may or may not have observed the alarm. Something cracked and set her neck jumping, which nobody saw. His hand slid slowly up her thigh and the other one moved with it. Love, innocence, she breathed.

On the “no” of innocence, which issued from her mind inaudibly, her mouth formed a little O, which he covered with his hand. “Shhhh.” And down they went. The night lay waste to the garden. Any woman knows that night is not a friend, is deep and long, is full of threats. A women does not make her home in it but regards it balefully, perhaps with reluctance or unadviséd curiousness. Depends on who she is. This night felled many leaves.

She observed them now, in the sunlight, little congregations under the eaves. Nature sweeps its own, but aimlessly. On “own,” which issued from her mind inaudibly, her mouth formed a little “O”, which he observed. Things were issuing from her, he could sense them like little points pushing at his attention. But he did not know what to do with them, and busied himself beside the bed.

Something was always happening around her mouth - something was often happening around the mouths of many similar creatures - similar meaning smart, similar meaning always thinking, thinking, similar meaning composing. He knew how to attend. Simply love her - love, her. He thought. Easy, simple. And he did, and she knew it; everyone was properly clued in to everything, which is what he liked about it; and yet there was something in him that withered near her, like a crumbling feather on the sidewalk, unavoided by boot and heel, unavoided by rain, unavoided by traveling soil and pith.

Drama in the morning, he allowed, may ultimately be destabilizing. Thoughts like this could help him decide. Far away, O, far away, water clipped along the sides of the river. Cairns marked progress of a kind. Babies sprayed language at unsuspecting parents, packages darted away from their provinces. Lovers should be thankful for moments of such intense stillness, yet instead tend towards prolepsis or nostalgics. Only the establishment of fixed points advances any sense of plot, as the tale of the rivers’ towers demonstrates. The miniature mountain range on a blue point oyster will also deliver as much a lesson.

But the plague of endless coitus, she thought, wrapping up her hair - for you see, the two were under the same tarpaulin of thought, ‘cept they wouldn’t know it - the plague of feckless coitus includes us, but somehow does not involve us (here, her fingers were involved with the pearl buttons on her blouse) - or, some episode involves me and - my love - she thought, flicking an eye on him, who appeared all soft and moist - but sex is for itself. And sex itself - and only itself - trusts. The story of coitus has us in it, but it is not about us. Goodbye would come - oh! here it was, as she fielded a little kiss.

Outside, a breeze o’er green crabapple drifted. The circuitry of her veins performed its task. Hebrides! for bliss’ sake! —she began looking for something else to count.