[She touches herself, can't seem to ungrip and so I
end up moving her fingers away. So I can touch her
there. But the moment she senses a hitch in my rhythm,
I can feel the pad of her thumb getting in the way.
Too bad it all goes downhill from there, when we're on
the balcony afterwards, breathing in the stench of the
city and looking for our names spelled in lights. Too
bad her hands become stones, barely able to hold her
cognac glass so that she uses both hands and looks
like a child who's stolen some of daddy's booze. My
aunt used to say you could watch someone's hands and
know their soul, their skill and how they would die.
This girl will die by some clumsy act with a gun, I
predict, after some clumsy act of sex. Possibly on a
balcony like the one we spend time on. Maybe in the
back of some asshole's car.
And when she waves goodbye, when her face is blank
and in need of sleep, her hands seem already dead,
limp in mid-wave. We fondle in hallways and bathrooms
just to give us something to talk about the next time
we see each other. Eventually we'll have to kill
someone to keep the suspense up, or else point our
lives in different directions. Fuck it, I'll tell her
the next time I see her and see if she punches me, or
scratches, or pulls something made of metal from
something made of fabric--and down we'll go.]
Abe Gaustad's fiction has
appeared in Mississippi Review Web and Thin Air
Literary Journal, and is forthcoming from Slipstream.
Potentially, might be ...