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Anatomy Lessons
Alden Nolan Tribute

Anatomy Lessons
(Kenneth Wolman)


(after Russell Edson)

I lay with you in a motel bedroom of pastel cinder blocks. It was too near the pool, and vacationing families with impressionable children were scandalized by your coming, for the sounds rose in your throat, the shrill mourning howls of Arab women who have found the corpses of their men.

I explored your body: pulled back the skin on a cheekbone and found an ivory socket with a tiny antique clockwork music box, nymphs and satyrs circling and fucking, embedded in your face. I got punched there once, you explained, and have an antique clock there now to tell you when it's time for you to leave.

I wept for the cruelty of what caused you pain. You have a loving and a gifted cunt, I said, and put my tongue inside to tell it so, so it could hear me. Thank you, either you or the cunt said, shyly, blushing pink, I am swelling with delight.

My heart, you said, has been broken more than once, and you let me peel your exquisite left breast, fold back the flap of skin, and see it beating there, carefully repaired, stitched in patterns that reminded me of astrological charts in a fortune teller's shop.

I bit into it, drew blood, heard you cry out. I apologized, called room service for a suture set, and followed the instructions to repair a broken heart. I sewed my name there. Eventually the stitches will dissolve, the ivory clock in your face will play, and the nymphs and satyrs will fuck each other blind.