Of My Romance by Joseph Geagan

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We ran into each other on the street and we were both wearing white: white from head to toe. We said we looked as though we were going to be baptized. We found a pack of cigarettes that had been run over in the street. And the cigarettes were all white with a blue stripe around the butt, and we said her leg was like this cigarette since she was wearing long white jeans with blue sandals. And we said we were the Swiss Guard, for no apparent reason other than that we kept bringing up the rear while walking with a group of people who incidentally wore all black. And I said she would make an incredible actress. And I said “but you should only ever play one role.” Antigone from dawn till dusk, from now until the end.

She looked like a peach, her dress the color of the fruit. She was not plump and ripe like a peach ought to be, but she emitted a sweet scent. I could see her skin through her clothes, ripened by the sun and climate of her past. Her skin shimmered with glitter. I knew that she had perhaps applied a lotion that would proffer this effect, but I preferred to think of it as a natural state, as though she secreted molten gold. Her face was like an angel’s peach: feminine, young, juicy, sweet, fuzz. An angel that had not fallen but had jumped to earth. So when I went up to her she said four words “Speak of the devil,” and I was given three to respond and said “You got it,” she roared with laughter and made me feel sheepish but pleased.

I had never even met her before we met in the hotel bar of the hotel she was staying at. We had chatted over the phone, in texts. In fact I had never heard her voice before she came out of the elevator towards the chair in the lobby where I had slumped and said, “I guess you must be Joseph. In truth I’m already drunk.” She was sheathed in a silver skintight dress. She told me that she had just dyed her hair with Kool-Aid. She asked me if I would please disregard the orange stains that the dying process had left upon her neck and back. Her back was covered by her dress. Her neck was covered by her hair. The implications of future disregard of the streaked stained skin in citrus hue were enough to divorce me from reason.

We’re under a willow on a July afternoon. The willow gives no pretense of shade but the swaying fronds above us belies the heat. It and us are on the bank of a small lily pond, where a statue of Diana –bow taught presides at the far end of the pool. She’s feeling the blossom of youth all over her body, accentuated by her white linen dress. She tells me she wants to put an entire rose inside of her mouth, to drown in the scent. It only comes in waves when you smell it. She lies on her back.

Afterwards lying there we noticed an intensity of buzzing and that bees were flooding the air. When I looked down I saw droplets of blood on the grass. She said that perhaps one of the hives had been knocked over by the storm the night before.

by Joseph Geagan