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Hot Tin Roof: Hermaphrodite in Iowa



You think kissing your inner thighs is easy. You think you can stand there while I lick you ON and OFF. It’s true. There is electricity.

That new currency you have been paying me with.

For kissing me, you say, I will pay you with my electricity, my chemistry, my biological appliances.

My reply: Surely you can pay with something else. Maybe the keys in your pocket or in my pocket. Or whatever.

And when I lick your inner thighs, the toaster strudels jump up in the air like a pair of bisexual bubble mailers, yellowed out of the toaster.

I swallow while something in you jumps. At first I think it is your electricity paying me. And I think: paycheck, pay stub, and Europe.

But this nosedive is not easy because there are bumps along the shore–

lines of your thighs. I think goosebumps, plucked chicken skin, or early signs of senescence. Oh, good, I think. New texture. More tapioca. Less cream. Kissing you is brutal.

I charge by the square inch. In meters they exponentially become more pricey.

When my kiss can penetrate deep, I begin charging by the cubic foot.

You complain because you think the economy of kissing is cut-throat.

You say you are not an aquarium that just goes on sale.

Immediately I like that you say aquarium and not tank.

Before covering more estate, I respectfully request that you toast your bread so that it’s warm and hard and rustic.

Your reply: Isn’t that your job? To toast and butter me?

While your bread hides in the drawer of the toaster, I stare at your ankles.

When I say this, your bread pops up.

After licking your inner thighs, I spread your bread with butter.

I ask you: Do you want anything else with it?

You reply: More milk please.

When I dip your bread into milk, you seem satisfied.

So satisfied that I increase your electricity bill by $40.

After you sit down, you say: This is so rather unfair. It is so natural for bread to want more milk and not be charged for it.

Nature necessitates economic endeavors, I reply.

You repine in a manner that I would later describe as cavorting.

I run my nails along your shores, to feel the heavenly realm of your tapioca. While my nails devour you, you cavort. And your toaster pops on and off. I learn to lean against the refrigerator to keep my cool.

In fact–at the refrigerator, I take out three eggs from the carton.

I close the door. You become afraid. My uncertainty has become apparent.

You grow alarm and demand: What are you doing with my eggs?

I reply: Are you a hermaphrodite?

You immediately increase your estrogen and decrease your testosterone.

You try with all your will for the tapioca to disappear.

I ask again: Is that your bread, your toaster strudels, or something else?

You reply: White grapes do not grow outside of the vine.

I say: No grapes germinate on the sandbed like octopus’ nipples.

You think my disappointment is enlarged by the eggs sitting politely on the palm of my hand. You try to retrieve them by kicking me but I am relentless and I am hard on the outside.

I say: I charge three times more for unknown AND unexpected landmark.

You say: This is exploitation.

I reply: You owe me so much more electricity. Don’t forget. So much more.

You say: The burden of rewiring always falls on me.

I think you are thinking of winter. The snow drifts. The negative 30 degrees. The bitter windchill. You think in winter–without electricity–how you are going to milk the cows with a paraffin lamp? And you are thinking about the knob protruding from the glass–it will be stuck and not be able to adjust the height of the wick. You grow lonely with despair. Perhaps even unconscious. Winter can be seen from the angle of your face. You may even think that semen is inappropriate, like the way wick crawls out of a metal disc and I am your glass chimney. Perhaps to give the illusion of having something of yours contained and hot and enlarged.

I think you are hopeless and flamboyant.

Rewire me if you have to. You say, give me light. Give me light.

I stop touching your sandbed. I stop staring at the sea in search for answers. I have stopped at the border between land and sea.

I say: I do not care if you are land or sea, but I must have my electricity paid, as promised.

I stop you as you walk across the room toward the door. The red byre, the milk bucket, the bovine air. Your nails are falling apart. Your skin is shredding left and right. Your oxford shirt is slowly unbuttoning itself. Your watch falls from your wrist onto the floor. Segments of you crumple into the wild wilderness of the carpet. You are a passenger drifting into the freeway. Your kidney stops working half a century ago. You re-grow your facial hair. Imagine if you are old. Your earrings fling from the swingset of your ears. You think femininity makes you a child again. You collect tanks into cardboard boxes and place barbies next to each other on a row. I lick you and my lick thwarts your electricity and your plumbing.


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