Tom & Pete


Tom says I am the perfect woman. He has seen me parallel park my SUV. We meet at night when his arm hangs over my shoulder. When he reduces me to gravel. At night, I love this man with the vineyard eyes. He stares at my red car. His eyes absorb my wavelength. His eyes turn the color of exertion. But at dinner, I stare at the top of his head. He never looks up. He talks to the noodles, tamarind, and peanuts about himself. I look out the window and watch the cars hit the curbs. I am bored even in my dreams. But here he still has some geometry. Proof: he loves my SUV; therefore he loves me. Proof: he loves my parallel parking; therefore I should love him. As in, when parents want to be friends, they think their children should be friends. As in: Nate, say bye bye to Penny.


The snow is a mixture of reverend and revolution. The snow experimental with its grape grey. Pete grabs my hand, my superior limb, my only extremity. A hand that other men only try to brush by handing me coins. I can tell he thinks it a special hand, a hand he has been trying to integrate all night. His hand has breadth and texture. I can feel its raw materials. I can feel its metal tubes and glass pieces. His hand knows upholstery, the fabric and stuffing of women. It has breath, not in a sighing way, but in a car exhaust way, coming out of a vehicle that drops off a different girl every night. And when his hand touches mine, I hear a zapping sound. And my gasp comes out as an X-Ray of some other woman, some imposter, some possible.

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