Butterfly Time

Suefly takes my hand, leads me upstairs.  I wonder if the dance and the fuck will be a la carte or if I can weasel a special.  The word around Second Division is 10/20.   I have a don’t-give-a-shit hundred in my wallet so who cares.  I set the alarm on my watch-of-many-dials-and-gauges I bought from a peddler who had a large selection all the way up both arms.   Three hours until I have to be back to the ship.   It’s a basic room furnished with essentials, love seat, coffee and telephone tables, ashtray stand, an easy chair. In a corner cartons of Marlboros are stacked.  I think I know the sailor who smuggled them to her, recently showed up with a butterfly tattoo.  The leftover incense aroma will always be associated with her.  It might be sandalwood. The floorboards creak under a badly worn oriental rug dotted with tobacco burns.  Three butterfly prints decorate the cracked in spots white walls.  They are labeled, swallowtail, pearl crescent and buckeye.  I think of tattoo parlor advertising.  I remember seeing a calico cat eat one, mid-air snack The ceiling surrenders plaster curlicues.  Out of a window, I can see St. Frank, brass pigeons at his feet.  Suefly leads me to a maroon chair with a ripped cushion.  She takes long strides to the bathroom.  She’s gotta be six-two.  I imagine her in a pro wrestling ring.  I start to sober up and oddly wish I were somewhere else, anywhere.  I want this to be over.  I wish the ship were underway and I was out on deck at midnight watching the phosphorous in the wake competing with the stars, millions of fucking stars, Suefly a sweet no-clap-souvenir memory.  Yes, a fucked butterfly trick pinned in my head.  I bury my hands in each side of the cushion like a kid looking for change.  There are no mousetraps or razor blades.  The toilet labors to flush.  She returns, walking backwards, hair combed out, nearly falling to her ass.  Spinning around she isn’t holding a pistol.  Her face made up, the bright red lipstick would stop traffic on the Autobahn.  A beauty mark has been added starboard side of her nose.  Her eyelashes are spider legs, semi-high cheekbones rouged. She’s wearing a cape featuring the gold markings of a monarch butterfly.  She pulls a small cassette player from under the love seat, sets it up on the coffee small table.  The music is flamenco.  Her lips wickedly pursed, she stares straight ahead.  She moves slowly, lips and mesmerized expression never changing.  The cape is tight around her.  Her moves are out of synch with her tape.  The footfalls and cries of the performers distract me.  Her face remains wooden. The music reaches a crescendo and she suddenly becomes one with it.  Legs apart, she lifts her arms to open the cape.  Her body is magnificent.  Her face is a gloating mask.  Her nipples are large and I wonder if any children have enjoyed them, dreamed of never growing up.  Her pubic hair is trimmed, shaped into butterfly wings. The cassette slows, labors mournful, dragging dying haunts but she dances again, moving fitfully.  Her breasts aren’t the ponderous globes shipmates have described but taut, the fussiest of measuring devices could not prove an iota otherwise.  Her eyes are smiling now, big brown chestnuts but her lips are stern.  I stare at the rug and it is a coffin’s floral display.  She floats around and lilies stretch to her.  The dragonheads party for her nipple Hors D’oeuvres.  The larkspurs leap at her face but a snarl wilts them.  The cape finally drops to the floor.  She holds her arms out to me.  I go to her and place my hands on her breasts.  I feel like a big bug, a praying mantis.  Her .45 cartridge nipples are between my fingertips.  She gently pulls my head to her.  She starts to recite a Baudelaire poem as she did at the bar.  I kiss her lips; I try to move my tongue into her mouth but her teeth aren’t open wide enough.  I lick them.  I’m fucking fluoride laced.  Her teeth are clenching a pellet.  A taste of cloves invades my mouth.  I feel like a frozen film frame or I’ve been shot.  I’ve been taken like a kid fresh out of boot camp paying half a hundred for B-Girl phony bubbly.  One leg gives out.  I’m sitting on the floor.  She is spitting into a handkerchief, swigging from a tiny bottle.  I try to crawl to the door but cannot move.  My face is leaden. I’m shocked by her nonchalance.  She gives my crotch a squeeze while whistling “‘O Sole Mio.”  I try to speak but my lips won’t work.  I’m flat on my back, paralyzed but alert.  She and musses my hair like I’m her fucking nephew.  Maybe conscience stricken, she fingers her pussy, holds her fuck-you finger that’s odorless under my nose before taking my watch.  She stops to admire it before putting it on. She must think it’s a Rolex.  I figured she’d be more sophisticated!  I try to call her a sucker. but only my mind shouts.  The air is dandelion fuzz.  She opens my shirt and with a tube of lipstick, draws something on my chest.  She works my wallet out of my pocket.  Who gives a shit? I won the hundred in a paint locker card game.  Sleep weds the paralysis.  When I wake, half a butterfly like a large ear listening for the ticking of my heart is on my chest.  My pants are down to my knees.  My pecker is crusty.  Looking out the window, I see her sitting at the base of the brass St. Frank.  She points to my watch on St. Frank’s outstretched left arm reflecting in the sun.  She makes a fist, shakes it at me like the hammer she’ll use to forge another me statue.  A moth lands on the window sill.  Through the screen I faintly hear my $2 watch alarm go off.   I hope the son of a bitch is as cockeyed on that as it’s been on the time of fucking day.  Suefly jumps to her feet, crosses herself. 







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