January 13, 1997
Spent the afternoon looking up flights
to Italy. Rome and then Florence. Might rent
a car at that point and head further north. He said
something last night about wanting to be in Verona
by late spring. The airport in Rome closest
to the Colosseum is the Ciampino. 13 km away.
I made a note of that on an old receipt I found
in my sweater pocket, then the computer went
dead and I fell asleep. Woke up
with his face buried between my legs.
I think Lacan must have been onto something when he said that the body is no different from other forms of textuality— both are porous. Looking at him now, spread out like this.
more lucid than ever
that mouth still so wet
He’s always more naked
when he doesn’t realize I’m
looking at him.
Body, porous, lucid, naked
corpo, poroso, lucido, nudo
3 AM. Bed small as a coffin. Turned on
the small light on the night stand, checked to make sure
he was still asleep, and pressed my thighs down until
I felt it start to open. So strange when you think about it.
How a man looks down and sees it right
there between his legs, and yet a woman’s sex is hidden.
Even from herself. Leaned back and slid my index
finger in as far as it would go, held it
until the fleshy walls began to open and close. Like a small
animal breathing. I leaned back against the pillows
let myself sink into the bed, watched him sleep
as I fucked myself. A peculiar kind of waiting.
Woman, breathing, animal, fuck
Donna, respirazione, animale, fottere
Went down to the hotel bar for drinks. Dark pesto with lemon.
Rough cut slices of bread. Grapes with skins so thin they
looked pink. Provolone cut from the whole
ball. A small plate of anchovies covered in a sauce I couldn’t
quite make out. Their bones soft as a woman’s tongue. Two
and half bottles of Prosecco.
As he fumbled through his wallet for change
I put my hand where it usually
rests inside his pants. Strangely limp against his thigh.
There will have been this moment. There will have
been a marriage.
A house in Hudson.
The apartment in The City. The center of it all
synthetic. A woman like this is not
a woman, not quite.
Ten years in grad school reading Heidegger,
Foucault, the novels of Henry James, even
some Wittgenstein that summer in Berlin.
You would think I would be better prepared for this.
What do you do when the narrative of a marriage
has ended, and you find yourself slipping
When we got back to the room, I sat on the toilet
pulled my panties down
to my knees and looked up pomegranate in
the dictionary. It’s melograno.
Opened the window so I could
I’ve written everything down
on a piece of French stationery.
I really have. But now I can’t find it.
Looked at him across the table at lunch,
but all I saw was Kafka standing on the Charles
Bridge holding a stack of papers.
Yesterday there were birds in the bathtub
and no one knows where they came from.
Just the feel of it. Just this once.
We were standing in the doorway.
Both of us silent. And then we weren’t.
Orange is a slow color. Although not
as slow as black.
He stepped off of the bridge and
fell into the Vltava. The papers
flew up into the air like flames.
We must have been lonely people
to have done this to each other.
I’ll tell you again. It’s true. There is a small
animal lodged up inside of me.
After his shower, he wrote something on
the bathroom mirror.
Now I know I’m going to have to beg for it.
The sheets of this bed. They have me figured out.
Make sure you open my mouth
and look all the way down before you leave.
You won’t believe what you see.
This is not going to get any easier with the lights off.