My best friend’s older sister Jill
answers the door. “He’s not
here come on in.” It’s just
her and the dog, a kind of poodle cum
retriever that resembles Jill
in a way I can’t or don’t want to
put my finger on. It follows us
doggily into the den where we sit
down on the lime couch, collapses
in front of us on the floor, panting.
I cross my legs. “So when
is he coming home?” No answer.
Eyes on the dog, she unbuttons
first the second and then the third
of ten or so buttons on her blouse. “It’s hot
in here.” And then the fourth.
And then the fifth. She’s at the age
where she carries her new breasts around
like pert little deities seeking
rightful homage. I’m at the age
where I still say “and a half” after
my age, because I want the full
credit. But today I haven’t got
a clue. I stare straight ahead at the wall,
taking in peripherally the pink
dangle of the dog’s tongue, the pale
half breast that Jill has bared
down to the pink nipple. I can feel her,
febrile, panting, burning a hole
in the side of my face as I look
away, for the life of me. The life of me.
Role reversal; a jumbled application of justice. Who goes to jail, who is the bait? – mh