Advice & Other Matters
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She warns against it: a recipe for disaster.
I have spoken no words, yet she has seen it
so as we stand washing up, me drying, her
elbow deep in dishes, we say those things that
can be said only at such moments. A
ritual between women that comes as naturally
as my love. She tells me it goes against all
the rules. That if anyone else knew … well there’s
no saying of the of damage, the hurt that it
would cause. She tells me You are not children
anymore. Kissing cousins is a game reserved
for children, an experimental way of growing up.
Perhaps then we never grew up. Or perhaps
we had the taste of each other then and it was
just not enough. We are greedy, wanting more.
Even as she speaks, all I can think of is of the last
time you were in me and how I long for some
moment when we can steal away upstairs, where
we can hastily make love, where I can feel your
mouth on mine, where you have me up against
the wall, where I hold tight to your curls, while
you do it until I’m there, then you stifle the scream –
your hand, a covered kiss, your finger in my mouth.
It is never enough, which is why this affair, non-affair
for who could call it that? We have the ultimate
trump – blood is thicker than water, you tell me
with a smile. It is your reassurance that you love me.
She tells me, Someone will get hurt and I think
of all the years our cogs have ground together,
no-one none the wiser. I ask her how she knows –
she says it’s all there: the way our eyes meet
across the table, across the room, the way you
reach to pass me what I need, even in the way
you fill my water glass when it is empty you will
see my thirst is slaked. All of this is true and she
speaks I see each thing, smile at the thought of it.
She tells me You must end it. She tells me
You hang between depression and mania. Do not
trust your instinct – not now; reiterates, People
will get hurt, said as if in a whisper. As if he and I did not
already know about hurt. As if we had forgotten all the
years when we were separate and when I was told
that my blood was not your blood. That you were
Other, a fact I knew always, but always in the best
sense. How strange then to discover that I am
Other too. How the family refuses to see –
the rejection clear. I’m everybody’s favorite
WASP. How disappointing then, to discover
the Jew in me. The dark, exotic blood.
The sand-storms of Arabia.
The spiced scent of saffron as you place it
on my lips in the moment before
you kiss me.