Tracy Scarpino



     Soft footsteps on cold linoleum come my way. I want to know where he's been, why he's late. He doesn't say anything but, soothing, he smiles. He peers into the half-empty glass of red wine on the table and closes one eye. I hear a squish as he steps on a bug. He comes closer and the light shines on his hands, big and strong with blue veins showing through pale skin. Standing in front of me, he reaches out his hand and puts it under my chin, lifting my head. He slips his other hand down my blouse and squeezes my breast. I hear his breath whistling through the gaps in his teeth. I'm a cactus and he's the desert wind. His blowing keeps me company in my empty landscape. I don't need much; a little water goes a long way. I wasn't meant to be loved to excess, to be showered with watery passion. Too much water will kill me. I store the memory of one moment of love for a long time, sucking every last drop from the air and the ground even after he's gone. I'm a succulent plant and he's an incubus who comes once a month, disappearing into the atmosphere after he's finished. This time, I ask him to kill me. I want him to drown me in his fluids and bury me in the backyard. He agrees without saying a word and within seconds the wet weight of death is upon me.