Genesis Two

There was a woman who had cheated on her husband. She came loping back into their private jungle with the family pets and the strange animal sounds (chirring, growling, scroop) and he took her back like a book that someone else has simply taken and read. A book someone outlaw else has read without permission. They were supposed to wait until you reached the end of the book when either you or the book died. But this other man didn’t wait. He just picked up a goddamn book and started reading it. In a pink motel, middle of a sunny Thursday afternoon. It looks like a staph infection. Next to the interstate. Anyway. She came back like a book someone else has read and whose reader now has an entirely private interpretation of that book, an intimate reading and possession of the body of the text, text of the body, that sort of thing that nobody can ever smash. Only he, the co-cheater and reader, could smash it. Or merely throw it away. Which would be worse, wouldn’t it? Because it would bring an entirely other and new depreciation of his wife, he felt; he hurt. Though the man should not be allowed to price any woman on earth, and certainly the man should not be allowed to set a price to his own precious wife. She who is like a mill and a beehive. She was like a jasper column to him. Like unto a jasper column on EBAY that poured honey from a sweet shape crafted in its gymnastic body. For the column was a body, one that could lift one of its legs up behind its back to its head. It was all so Biblical. He couldn’t help but see the car salesman suit now, floating in space, no man in it. It was like the ghost of Joseph Beuys hanging from a lone wire coat hanger in archival space. It had to be some sort of performance art, this cheating thing. He didn’t even know what the man looked like. What his so-called endowment was. How she cottoned to it in that millennial motel bed as the Nile shapes its swales to a Nile god or crocodile, no difference. How deep the push, how deep the pull? He didn’t know. Didn’t want to know. But knew he would ask. It was the way the ocean at the shore seems always unable to make up its mind, breaking on, hissing back. Weak-minded and beautiful. Asssssking. But one stormy day it does. One day the ocean takes the land, comes crashing down on silver bullet diners like Godzilla’s essence already present in those destructive waves of nature visualized in those ancient Japanese woodcuts. Wild scrollworks of energies in space. The harm all around us, the tendrils and curlicues of harm. He was a woodcut now. The husband. He would have to ask. Sooner or later. Eventually. For sure, for sure. Even if it was seventeen years. And probably when he was inside her. Face to face. He would need to be an asshole about it. Like virtually everyone in the Garden of Eden. Except maybe the Snake. Who was honest. About what people want. The simple right to know what they aren’t. It can take a lot of work. “He should still want her,” he would think. It would be a car deal gone horribly sour all over again. Woe that remains somehow mystifyingly erotic. Possibly the real reason they make large wooden headboards for beds.


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