I glimpsed him leaving Trader Joe’s, loading his disposable brown bag of stuff into his wax-buffed Jag. My ex— his face dehydrated now, in the way of those old-timey apple-face dolls. This was the guy to whom I cried as we did it— Take me any way you want me. So loud an exaltation that it carried for acres — into the neighborhood chapel, where it shivered the sainted windows. All the way into abandoned apartments, awakening tweakers with their smoky pipes. Into the fragrance of espresso bars serving absinthe and squirts of whiskey syrup, the pierced baristas pausing as they plunged the steamer rod into the teased-up milk. That’s how it is when you’re a woman in your prime. You vocalize. Especially after all the years I spent with a man who walked out the bedroom door while I waited in bra and panties, posing to show the curve of my waist, the peach lace of my Victoria’s Secret— my jars of vulva balm going rancid on the bedside table.
After my great plague of nothing, the first to uncork the fine champagne of my lust. There he was again, his blotched arms heaving Friskies cat food onto the smooth leather of his backseat.