Cibola 76

Esteban (4) (cont’d)

While the woman stretches curious fingers
toward the beard, the wondrous hair
like gourdvine runners trailing
down his back
& the dizzying sheen, until
they alight upon a point of interest
precisely where any woman’s gaze
would tend to end up. She gives
a strange cry. Esteban smiles
to himself, knowing she’s never
seen a circumcised penis–
purified of its female covering
as God intends: a covenant
through which this imperfect Nature
can be completed, redeemed–

but she recoils, eyes narrowing,
making the signs
for Earth / Sacrifice / Taboo.
–What? She thinks
I’m a sacrificial victim who managed
to escape?
Then with curled lip
extending her arms out straight
she claps her wrists together–
Slave–the half-clenched
fingers forming
an inadvertent heart.

No–right palm across his face,
shouting Hay una carta,
aquí­,
clutching where the brass
locket would hang on his shirt,
the hand language failing
as his vision clouds &
he lunges, clasping a forearm,
reaching for her hair.
But she twists
unexpectedly inward,
against him, plants her teeth around
a neck tendon, moaning
low in her throat in a burlesque
of pleasure, raking his back
& side with her nails while
he writhes, howling, until
she finally releases him

& he leaps back, loses
his footing, falls.

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