Fumbling With New Skin
Its dark and we were fumbling with new skin. Dragging my
signature moves pulling in every which direction tickle tongue.
His awkwardness is moving, looking up I cant feign the adoration
that makes men weak for just a moment, Im in awe. Deep lashed
pools with a tuft of red hair, that wasnt it. It was the way
when he leaned back his hand covered the center of his chest. Delicate.
Delicately covering with a sign. I try to kiss back his hand and
holding tight to the spot, I drag my tongue down his sides distracting
him. In the dim light of the dial of my stereo I make out a twisted
knot of scar tissue and angry red boils. I want to jump on him and
shake my flabby stomach in glee "look at me!" but I dont.
I avoid like he asks in silence. But this knot gets me and now days
later I think of it. I think it is beautiful like the edges of his
flesh pulling out all the guards all the stops crying halt whoa
there not too close. I wanted someone to wave his or her hand over,
me, underneath. I remember twisting in inhuman directions to hide
the hand over belly that each year grows in proportion. Purple crevices
pulled tight with the load of my parcel of protection. A pound of
flesh for each of the infractions aga inst my skin, against my soles.
When I was a kid I was always hurting my feet. My little body dragged
across a beach filled with glass by an angry girlfriend of my fathers
into a waiting car. A broken bottle finds its way into the softest
parts of my foot it clots intently with sand. Screaming. They think
I just dont want to leave as they hustle me into the car my
legs twisted round; my opposite toe gets caught in the slamming
door. I scream the 12 miles home till they figure it out.
While running across the wooden bridge to my aunts camp a
long sliver of wood slides the length of my sole. We spend the afternoon
getting it out. Do the wounds we receive have anything to do with
what we are, my distended belly, still aching feet, twisted knot
of boils on his chest?
Sex is a way of life. Too be truly committed to getting laid regularly
you have to give yourself to it completely. I think, rather know,
I have lost years to this pursuit. Now I have a number of arguments
to defend my choices and on any given day Im either the Joan
of Arc of sex or the Leper of sex. I have fears about eternal damnation
on occasion and often fears that the sharp pain in my cunt is a
sore or the case of strep throat with its tell-tale signs of white
spots on the back of my throat are in fact the four horsemen of
the apocalpyse-of-aids banging down the door. Door. It was a door
to my inside and if plundered enough they will work their way up
into my intestines liver lungs banging their way to my heart. Hello
thump thump anyone in here hello heart bang bang eyes on the fantastic
this is love here love, or this I control as they grow weak and
fall into my arms.
Limp and washed-out I hold them up to look at the cum that made
it in the envelope. My pussy is an envelope I am sending to my heart
wicked letters passed onto Senator Daschle. You want to talk about
epidemics baby look away from the headline. Anthrax is going to
kill less than sex. O.K. right you want to make a bet. All right
I say there are more connections between the cunts and assholes
of the world filled with semen cum what have you to anthrax than
any of us would like to believe and sadly the envelopes filled with
white substances have more to do with each other than anyone would
like to admit. This is not just the connecting to AIDS it is looking
at the width of breadth of connection and the loss of letters to
the email, the loss of running one finger neath the seam of
an envelope to discover the words worlds of those around us. This
is an epidemic. First, however one ought to understand what the
difference between an epidemic and pandemic is really and just how
afraid we ought to be of anthrax.
Epidemic: Affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large
number of individuals within a population, community, or region
at the same time. (Typhoid was an epidemic). excessively present,
contagious <epidemic laughter> from the Greek epidemia: visit,
from epidemos; visiting, from epi+demos: people
The fact that anthrax is rarely seen in the U.S.A. and, although
it seems that this is an outbreak to my uneducated eye and according
to the thesaurus an outbreak is the only word that is connected
to epidemic, but we all must take a moment and look at what the
average person sees when they switch on the news and sees epidemic,
they see the plague. Ok it would be more reasonable for the average
Joe to open up and realize that AIDS is an epidemic. But given the
fact that people seem to only want to connect with the things they
feel can really affect them. For Christs sake even in the
blissfully bucolic state of Vermont the local Joannes Fabrics
even called in an anthrax scare. Ok yes fear much they the big THEY
are even out to knock down those craft-loving Martha Stewart craving
persons. Ok yes I understand. One might add that the average craft-loving
granny has a better chance of contracting AIDS after her one-night
stand with that swaggering dancer at the retirement center than
receiving a tainted letter. Yet the fear has increased in the past
few days with a granny dying from anthrax. I dont mean to
poke fun. Well thats not true. But the fact remains that I
do not call this an epidemic. AIDS having spent some years on the
back burner after heterosexual men began distributing it is through
the population and the "evil" gays no longer seem responsible.
Well lets face it AIDS is not classifibly an epidemic anymore.
It is a pandemic.
Pandemic: Occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an
exceptionally high proportion of the population.
Here again however this element moves it totally out of the America
mindset. Now its those Blacks whom as we all know just fuck and
fuck and hell this is even more reason to close those borders between
the blacks and those towel head A-rabs no ones safe. Ahhhhh
wait one moment though....They have decided on a suspect for the
anthrax epidemic ... And the envelope please. The profile is a "white-male,
anti-social mid-twenties" oh yes ohhhh no well this can be
read in one or two ways. Hello much like AIDS being spread within
our own country not being the outsider element (i.e. people we love
and trust as well as sexual liaisons between consenting adults).
Or this profile could fit any healthy American male in his twenties
who might not be signing up to go to war or even better an activist.
Hell we wont need the draft this time around the government
will just bully poor boys into service. So perhaps this is nothing
like AIDS. Perhaps Im going to for a moment look at the reason
I choose to draw a connecting line between my pussy heart and guts
to the anthrax scare.
When I first went back to live with my family my father decided
I had grown too soft in the outside world soft with convenience
and the fact that he was a big believer in "spare the rod spoil
the child" he was determined to break me and quick. We lived
in an old farmhouse that was closed up except for the kitchen bathroom
and the two upstairs bedrooms. The rest of the rooms remained still,
but filled to the ceiling with an endless array of treasures and
junk. The main part of the house was heated by a very large wood
stove that was used for cooking as well. We lived in kerosene lamplight
and late at night the smell clung dirty to the insides of my nose
me lying in bed rummaging through scraping big black sooty balls
and flicking them to my oily walls where they would either bounce
off or slowly slide down.
My father was not only a big disciplinarian but also a terrific
slave driver. I was five and a half years old when I returned home,
and my first job was to stack the wood. Granted my Dad was right
at that point my only chores at Nanas was to make my bed and
put away dishes. Standing in front of that load of wood my Dad next
to me saying it all had to be in by nightfall or there d be
hell to pay. Damn that was daunting. So I trudged back and forth
for hours holding as much as my little arms could carry, which was
approximately two cut pieces. My arms getting red and raw through
my thin sleeves. Splinters. I tried at first to make it a game but
my father busted me for what he called "lollygagging".
Back and forth the rumbling of the generator in the barn as night
fell I was still out there, hungry and tired but I had lollygagged
so I had to stay. That pile never seemed to end and the stacking
got slower and slower. I missed dinner when my dad finally got me
and I went to bed without that would teach me.
I I I I I I
When I get his letters in the mail I get a weak feeling. Love replaced
with remembrance, I sift through first looking for the thousand
ways he still tells me that I am, will always be, the one. I met
him on a bus that seems a million miles away and considering the
amount of male terrain I have traversed since him it might as well
be. I told him in those soft morning light that if he were ever
in Maine to stop by and left my address. A day later the clanging
of my door bell and I rush down two flights of stairs in a blue
flower sheet wrapped loose. He said hed never seen anything
more beautiful. I had never seen anything more beautiful than the
look in his eyes taking me in. This was a first. Taking in my breath
as we lay in that morning mid afternoon to evening sun. Although
months past now years he flooded me for a long time with envelopes
Envelopes. You slide your finger under tight triangles, angles bit
back holding your finger tight sucking on the tip lightly grazing
my tongue over the ridges left. Lick to seal. Licking is a formula.
Taking time to seal the deal. Tendrils of sweat replace saliva.
Sweat replaces with vicious fluid gives way to twisted pained retractions
hard red and wet first the tip and a rivulet lick it light and the
force of a quickly opened can of pop.
I have slid my fingers into the crevice of my cunt digging in deep
only to come back empty handed, I dragging pull the protective moisture
to the lips to make what I want possible. In 11 years no one has
said "no wait let me seal draw out the breath that makes the
inhale deep and satisfying." Perhaps its been my fervor.
Crawl on top fill me with words write me a love letter leave a letter
in my box. Let me show you this beautiful letter, lets not
waste haste on the envelope.
With my legs spread, adjusting the awkward mirror perched betwixt
my feet, I look at my cunt swollen and red from the last mail room
disaster. Another boy who uses the clean edged letter opener that
always fails if you dont make it, sawing back and forth, fast.
My vertical slit. Opening it carefully I inspect it and try to see
what lurks there moving underneath the layers. I flinch, it quivers
the surfaces. How this must feel, I wonder, wrapped around them?
Them. They flood-jab-ram, even the better ones. Feel the flesh flinch,
whisper how sexy I am how good I feel... I wonder if they have any
idea. Sitting back we stare at their semi-erect member. It dancing
upon on and off commands, twitched. But my place is a movement a
drawn flinch the whispered shout... depending on circumstance through
my entire package. A package. Men have packages? Foolish notion.
What lay between my legs is a package. A package is filled emptied
sealed opened. Somethings small fingers, toes penises. Large
things babies, fist, penises. This package ultimately holds
me together. All roads lead upwards. Take care not to bump my tipped
uterus obstructing the view. The scream resonates. All to often
the no-so-sensitive member has failed to see it as a signal of excruciating
Envelopes filled with white substance settle on the bottom. If I
lay on my back too long it seeps into my spine.
Take care with lumpy packages covered with a lot of tape. As a young
woman I was with a man who insisted on staring at my pussy with
the lights on. Being young and shy I found it unsettling and when
he told me why I finally understood the root cause of my discomfort.
He said he was making sure I was clean. Clamping my legs around
his head I love to say I didnt let him in but in the case
of chain letters you never really know where your plea may land.
Send twenty warm wishes to the following or face horrible year
Laying on my back the din of the T.V. flickers wildly on the ceiling
and on a bottle of sticky sweet coffee brandy. Dont look down
at the dexterously good-feeling tongue of my father licking the
seal permanently of the chain letter sent to each one of the men.
They all seal it with their varied responses: "NEVER SEND A
CHAIN LETTER TO THIS ADDRESS AGAIN!" "Wish you well!"
"Good luck!" Running for the door with clothes in hand
staring at the ceiling flicker flick flick flicker. Fucking, making
love. Made love with coffee brandy and that origin of this letter.
Danger is what may lurk in that substance. It could kill you with
a virus or even worse, with the illusion of what could have been,
childless, disease, free, single and groping.
Sealed the envelope with days and years of lost time hiding in the
recesses where he was a handsome prince, or I was the wife, the
mother. That was ripped away as my sister appeared in the door woken
from sleep and needing me to ease her back into dreamland. He sits
up as I fumble underneath the covers as my sister crawls onto the
warm bed as he vacantly stares at the television. Blank but waiting
to pounce on that fragile tender flesh Im holding in my arms.
My arms werent long enough to wrap around myself so this was
the first introduction to shame.
What could have been? Shame is a constant parade of nuns, jilted
used-up angry lovers screaming BITCH, angry grandmothers looming,
the crawling on the bathroom floor puking in the bowl, that sigh
of a child in my guts eating me, my insides the cruelest package
of all, one whose seal is split with a needle in the cervix, scraping
tool, injections of light fluids taking this letter away from my
mind. Sitting up in pools of blood wiping my hand down the paneling.
"We dont understand this never happens." Brought
in a zip lock rainbow spill of tissue floating oils that are a combination
of them and me. What could have been? Warm split beaver.
I have read if you are desperate in cold climates to survive you
can kill a deer or large animal and crawl inside. A gift inside
of racks of ribs nestled in with the stink of a fresh kill mingled
with the scent of opened bowels.
Once I was seeing this reporter in Austin who in the midst of making
out went to the loo while I lay on my stomach perched on my elbows.
Out of nowhere he leapt on top of me ripping through the walls of
my anus. Perhaps he too was cold but considering the summer temperatures
in Austin Im not really convinced.
In the letters for that long lost love, hiding under the grit that
we both know is there, blind to the stench bleeding from the warmth
of left-over sentiments. This is a more plausible reason. Hiding
in my fear and bloodied ass.
The opening of an email is like masturbation, its done with
ease and as much as you try to savor it, its only a semblance
of the intent. I laid back and upon the suggestion of a dear female
friend revisited the ease of the handy back massager. Slipped in
between the sheets and in a matter of moments I was rolling my head
back into my eyes and laughing. There was no stumbling through my
mind for the right fantasy grouping of interchangeable men, each
equipped with a specially or focusing on whomever was currently
the "best". Boom. I can revisit my emails at any time
but the closet I get are the :) and the ever suggestive ;). The
wink in a particular mans emails always got me all hot and
Do not bump shake or sniff. Odors permeate the room. Last year while
riding the trains in Berlin I was often overcome by the desire to
lean my head into the liquid smells of the businessmen, eyes fixed
on the mandatory newspaper. Now I can settle my nose in to the folds
of my current mans jacket, the sawdust woven into the fibers
and the faint whiff of chainsaw fuel is a heady blend that I lose
myself in. The same way my father always smelled of V.W. engines.
The problem with a scent is it will catch you off guard at any given
moment and who knows? My heart is mending and in walks a smell throwing
me into a wall of hurt, tightening my chest and making me want to
throw a temper tantrum right there in the middle of the grocery
store post office DMV. Do not bump, shake, or sniff - it is an infection.
Bumping, grinding late at night into damped laps until their sex
rises and slips in the back door and try as you might to work your
way round the kisses fall short of holding the edge of the
bed or wall and getting the full grunt of it all. Shake it out before
it recedes and settles in the springs... shake it outside, reach
back, and rub it in because no one likes a wet bed, especially one
Remember darling to never ever take mail from an address unknown
to you. Once a year I update my list, figure in all the new candidates,
and a shiver runs through me each time. When talking to my girlfriend
I know his feelings are not settling on me alone. How many packages
of unknown origin have spent the night chatting days away before
disappearing into the sunset? Or the torrid nights in sweltering
clubs falling out onto the street with a tongue in my ear?
If only those same bulletins were released to us all as we headed
out into the wild blue room.
No matter how he shifted I saw the raw red boils nestled in the
cavern left behind by previous angers. They spotted him at the neck
and around his chin and in the cool unforgiving cold light of a
gray morning I sat back and looked as sleep had torn down the defenses.
I sit facing him as my belly softly folds over the tops of my thighs.
He is still, aside from the subtle shifting of his legs and the
palpable breath that fills my room. Open on the desk a few secrets
in this warm open letter.d
There is this Laurie Anderson song that has a line that sends me
into a fit of tears every time I hear it. "Then one day you
receive the letter youve been waiting for forever and at the
end it says Burn this". I lay in the wake of every
letter fearful of that inevitable burning. I have found solace in
the fact that I"ve never let this letter in my box.
Do not open tightly taped packages. Report immediately.
Whenever I send letters I tape bits and pieces to the inside as
well as the outside. I want someone to take the time to get inside
and as much as I enjoy sending these I only do it once and in a
great while, as well I only receive these tempting bits every so
often. But when they arrive, layered and smudged, I squint close
in the wee hours trying to decipher the sender and bits meant only
We always entered through the barn, its massive door opened just
a crack with barely enough room once inside to get to the inside
door. A narrow cluttered hallway strung up with unused farm tools,
old horse equipment, a scythe. Then youd push through a heavy
door into the consistently under-heated kitchen. A long room with
a kitchen sink at the end broken up by the wood stove and a worn
therapists couch. If you went straight there were the rooms
closed off in the Winter. In order to reach these rooms you peeled
yourself through sheets of heavy crinkling plastic like an overwrought
attempt at fancy holiday packaging. But when we snuck in during
the day, when my father was off gallivanting in town, my mother
was always like a vague smell in the room. We would stalk through
the rooms prowling for leftovers of bygone years. Pretending to
play house, dragging old furniture or playing with the assortment
of pianos and the odd clarinet or saxophone. With the latter, I
would crawl to the second story, hide in a room that required a
certain amount of skill to heave yourself over, and I would drag
out mournful scrapes of music. Once I found a large number of discarded
dollies. Their lashed eyes permanently lolling, boxes that once
held voices lay dormant in the centers. Still golden locks ratted
up in ungodly messes. Digging further in these recesses of the back
of the house I found treasures on an almost daily basis. Photos,
old makeup kits smelling and tasting strongly of oil I knew nothing
of. Lives I still know nothing of. Such filth in the rest of the
house but here the thick coats of dust left it pristine white/gray
clouds of magic discovery. Swiping a well-licked palm across glass
reveals a photo or a drawing. This was the only place I loved to
sweep. Each turn of the room drew a massive swell. Hiding finding
discovering burying. The racket in the rest of the house numbed
even when I was not there. I was there, tinkering about, whenever
I was told to spread my arms to the top of the therapy couch for
whatever number of lashings with the belt I was to get, the taunting
crack crack as my dad exercised his knowledge of just how hard this
could his, was reformed as the sound of the stacked boxes I carefully
navigated listening for sounds that showed my footing to be unstable.
Only in this part of the house could I safely hide my greatest treasures
of found birdies or mice. The others that I had bought had been
discovered and I had been made to listen as his boot crushed the
screaming gray fluffs, or Esmarelda, the cat, my fathers Cerubus,
munching contentedly on the baby birds I had coaxed out of their
nest. Coaxed from their warm mothers belly with a stick and
a shovel, the mother birds swooping down and fiercely defending.
I had the idea I would be a much better mommy than they, oh how
wrong I was. Please forgive me.
Munch, crack, snap, crinkle, freedom. Angle light where I could
lay when it got cold, lounging in the long panels cast upon the
floor. This was all mine, my present, the present no one else could
be aske d to bother with because I never let on how much it meant
to me, of that I was careful. Show no love and it wont get
taken away. I really should have learned that lesson and carried
it into adulthood.
This infection courses through my veins into my temples beating
hard long times of great friendship men who love me but their lack
of interest in me sexually left me deflated, rejected. I wanted
to give them me wanted to crack open. Wanted them to feed get warm.
Beating at my temples impatient longing fill me fill me senseless
losses moved in unshakable sexual frenzy.
When I was young I would have nightmares where the road I was walking
on was strewn with the many bodies of animals that I had lost or
seen dead. There was nowhere to step, even on my tippy toes, the
road just filled and filled. Now my dreams are filled with the carcasses
of men and women sliced open with knives from their bellies to the
neck, all riding.
Rocking my envelope over the tip, squat in deeper holding myself
so nothing but the cunt touches, till I fall weakened and
tired. The hands on my hips moving me where they want me to flex
and tighten. My love handles, just that.
© borderlands ejournal 2002