Eartha simplifies things by placing a jug of clear water on the table.
Ask me, she says.
Won't you show me the beauty in the cracked and the run down.
She fixes her eyes upon me, and unbuttons her coat. It is February and she is naked under her green coat. She takes my hand and places it on her tarnished breast.
I want to say to her: Can't we put an end to these cliches, but the feel of her heart beating and her nipple stiffening beneath my palm stops my mouth.
There are golden lights in her eyes. I cannot work out how this is searching for simplicity. She bites her bottom lip and my tongues tastes blood in sympathy.
Who says I am literature's whore? she whispers.
I do Eartha, I do. I came to offer you the renewal of the self, but you have brought me here to this land where all my understanding is parsed in a foreign tongue.
When did you ever offer me the renewal of self? she croaks
You are brazen, Eartha. Yes. Let me kiss your palm. You are wanton. Yes. Let me kiss the sole of your foot. You are forever dedicated to Saint Simple. Yes. Take off all your clothes.
And the jug of clean water trembles.
The copyright of this post belongs to Claire Steele