Buoy the population of the soul
Toward their destination before they drown
~ Robert Pinsky
June 2022
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Saturday, 3. March 2007

Two Fiction Fragments

She knows that she is has grown heavy. She dreams that fat hangs from her belly and hips like marmalade or lava. They, the supposedly indivisible unit, have failed recently - in her mind forever, for this failure and its memory stretches far beyond this one - at the games of pleasurable friction. Everything, as before, has again turned desultory and perfunctory. There are always other matters - as whimsical like future shape of a imagined house or as rancid as the argument from the previous day - far heavier than her fat both real and imagined, hanging over their bed, the gladiatorial arena.

That is why he is here, this stranger whose sincere lies were conniving enough for her to go with him, half drunk on the cocktails he had bought her, to his studio apartment, with its strong smell of maleness. She smells the expensive cologne on the sheets in which her sighs and vocalizations are muffled when he enters her from behind with his strange but desiring hardness - the big hard dick they were only an hour ago joking about.

Only in the morning washing her body satisfied and bruised in places where he bit her too hard - does she remember that he had barely touched her body - for example the shadows behind her earlobes, the fine line of hair on her nape, the exact curvature of her spine. And then this line from a novel comes to her – a line used by the one whom she had betrayed in a poem he wrote to her at the very beginning, the beginning of that, which this morning will be the coda and the end:

“Strangers kiss as softly as moths.”


He writes he hates her, in English. It is not his language; he has to stop and think every turn of a sentence what he was to say next; he has to translate meaning from the language they normally use for daily speech. But it is effective medium, this English, to spew the anger, which originates primarily in his own self pity, on to paper; throw down blots of ungrammatical sentences, false and narrow, much like the mass manufactured pop songs he had used to woo this woman in the very beginning.

On & Towards Writing

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