upon having good manners

When he first gazed deeply into 
                                 Marla’s eyes 
                                 Alex felt her smile before the lines appeared.

A jol t.

UHHHHHHH  (the breath rushing from his lungs)

Each Sunday her smile eases him into Monday morning 
. . . . and so she 
          him on

passing pints, accepting coins into her naked palm, so white,

lightly lined

Alex imagines the things Marla has held:

      the ale pump

      the back of the bar stool
      the coolness of the silver cocktail shaker

He has noticed her changes, the salt circle shadow of a lately thrown wedding ring,

      she must

he knows                           
      love Alex

      she must

      want Alex, to have offered him her naked finger

      a gift

UHHHHHHH, god, he breathes



                                  Oui? Another of the same?

                                  Here, six francs.

                                  Your change,   [Marla smiles]  Merci.

Tonight he will 

he will give his love to Marla
to Marla who has so prettily

him, prettily begged Alex for his love

with her naked palms

with her shirt buttons        and smile


~ by Beeskiffle on November 28, 2007.

3 Responses to “upon having good manners”

  1. That is just so brilliantly written. Effortless sense of place, unique well-defined characters who appear from the least traces of language, and the perfectly articulated flow of thought through Alex’s mind. Awe-inspiring writing. Am I right to feel a kind of threat, a shimmer of fear and anticipation, as if his understanding of the situation is very different from hers? And the technique, the use of linebreaks and wordplay make his thoughts audible and real and give them their emotion. Absolute genius, to do so much with so little and without apparent effort, with such composure. Your writing stuns and thrills me everytime. It is unlike anything I have ever read before and yet it is perfect. Perfect.

  2. Paul sent me over and he was right to — just downright amazing this. (I agree, there does seem to be something threatening in his assertions.) You’ve told a huge tale with an expert handful of words.

  3. thank you, yes a threatening haze of misenterpretation, and misdirected love. why should love not be genuine just because it is misguided?

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