One Reply to “8.15.2015 Journal Prompt”

  1. Eloise is a mermaid, she says. Not in words that come from her mouth, cos Eloise is mute. But she says it with her hands. Only, I don’t read hands, the bird wing and claw shapes she makes, so she writes it down in a notebook she keeps in her pocket or by her bed. And Eloise writes she is a mermaid, or she was once.

    I look at her like I am waiting for the punchline – for there must be a punchline. I laugh and hold out my empty hands to show I have nothing to say to what she has written. But her face doesn’t break into a smile or show by any other sign that Eloise doesn’t mean what she says. She taps the word ‘mermaid’ in her book to signal she stands by what she’s written.

    I shrug and blow air and I don’t know what to say.

    Lick my palm, she writes in her book, and she holds the upturned flat of her hand out for me to lick, holds it like she’s showing me stigmata. We’re alone and in her bedroom, so I don’t feel weird licking her palm like she asks, lapping like a cat or a dog with the pink wet of my tongue.

    Lick my eyelids, she writes, and Eloise closes her eyes and offers me her face, and the sun is on her and like that she looks blessed and I lick her eyelids.

    Lick the skin under the fold of my breast.

    And I lift one breast and lean into her – where her heart is. And I lick there, where it is warm and already wet.

    She tastes everywhere of salt. She says it is the sea and that proves she is a mermaid. I gesture to her two legs and the absence of a tail. She waves her hands like she’s shooing chickens – it might be that her hands are saying something then, but like I said before: I don’t read hands. She writes in her notebook that once she was a mermaid and she underlines the word ‘once’.

    I shrug again and she kisses me and makes a noise in my ear – the noise that the sea makes when it runs up against the shore only softer. And we fuck, like two people, and like we’ve done seven times before. I don’t know what’s worse, to keep count like that or to lose count so that all Eloise-fucks are just one fuck. And we take our time, and lose who we are and what we are, and are taken up with kissing and touching, and sucking air and then holding it, and the breathless rush of coming.

    And after, Eloise licks my hand and my eyelids and my chest – just under the nipple and just where the heart is. And she laughs and writes in her book that I taste of sand and metal and wood.

    I ask her how she knows these tastes, and she writes again that she is a mermaid, or she was once, and she writes that she has licked the undersides of boats and that’s how she knows.

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