The Crystals

My husband hit me one summer and it felt like a kiss.

We flew for the first time in ’62. Business. A layer
of skin melted away as we stepped off the plane, the bitter
Arabian sun smacking our cheeks. My skin shone in ways
it had never shone before. I was to keep myself occupied
all afternoon but the way those olive men struggled around me.
It was as though my breasts were laced in mercury.

I made an appointment at the beauty parlour. Arranged to meet
my husband at dinner. They did me up real good. At seven pm
I watched from the balcony of our room as he took a seat at the bar.
For all her failings my mother taught me one important lesson: a woman
must always make an entrance. At seven o’five the waiter escorted me
to my table. The olive men fawned as I glided through the hot evening.

They dropped to my ankles like flies. My dress glistened but only
for him. When I reached the table my husband wiped the side of his lip,
measurably placed his napkin on the table, stood to his feet and with the rough
of his palm kissed me like I had never been kissed before. I felt nineteen again –
untouched and desperate for more.


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