“Hold my hand,” he said to me.
“Be the granite foundation on which I can lie and stare at the sparkled sky,
The dark lines like ribbons across my thighs that give me such release.
Be the return of a distraction from a life spent under the thistly wing of a vampire bat.”
We are standing in the flickering gas lights on a park path, chilled by the green moonlight which mask him like the desolate Phantom.
“Hold my hand,” he told me.
“Engulf me like the dead sea
Salt, cling to my skin like the desperate claws of a child
Suffocate me in the hydrogen peroxide of your breath.”
I am twelve, a couple months. He, sixteen and light years ahead with long hairs on his forearms and dark freckles that splash like acid across his wolfish, effeminate complexion.
“Take my hand,” he demanded.
“Tell me you will devote every particle of your essence to my philosophies,
And carry me home tonight when I become the full bottle of whisky I had drained;
Trade saliva with me for the first time like the burning kiss of the alcohol which has left me so goddamn empty.”
I can smell his spit from here, I can trace the hazy outline of his ginger stubble from here, I can breathe in the sharp smell of his cologne so that it splices my unquenched throat, so pieces of glass pile at the bottom of my gut.
“Take my hand, take my hand, just take my hand, just take it!” he snarled,
“Or my eyes will ooze something like that of the man who makes up a half of you.
You’ll smell the ozone electrodes of my desire for your purified body
Like you could sense a storm rolling over the hills. Looming, bristling.”
I am trembling, my knees knocking, my teeth chattering, whispering words that this is a true man, this is the only man, he’s all I will ever have and he loves me too.
I am wearing nothing much more than knee high socks and plaid dress, ribbons in my hair caught in the naked branches of the pine trees that guard him on either side.
In determined silence, I take his hand,
My lips are sealed, sticky with the grey honey of his words
And in this instant, this moment which dictates the most horrible of first,
I don’t know
That the zeal of his tongue picking out my teeth isn’t a justice, a privilege granted onto me, the grateful citizen of his metaphysical propaganda
It is the taste
The taste of a million girls before me.
Their shrill screams and defeated grunts and silent pleas –
As they all hold each other, linked at the pinkies, quivering,
Dragging Lucifer out from the pit
A million young girls, a million Eves, a million brown dotted does, sacrificed to his cause.
A million girls.
A million girls and one.