10/16/12

Heart Hunting
By Michael Dwayne Smith


Her name was Emma. She asked if I was from the south, and I wished I was. The way you wish the prettiest girl in high school secretly longed for someone shy, sweet, chivalrous. I was just in from the city, putting down for the night, square to drive out first thing and meet up with old friends, and she was a full surprise.

Emma’s long blonde hair made me tell the truth. She said we’d get along just fine and dandy.

I felt oblong sitting at the table, my sister-in-law Karla angling around the kitchen, half-circling around her three-legged lab. The honey-color down on Emma’s arm captured sunlight from the breakfast nook window. Her teeth were so white, so perfectly sculpted she could’ve been on TV.

When Emma said she was on TV, Karla snorted one of her snorty laughs at the dumb face my raised eyebrows and O! mouth made. They had a confederacy.

Karla knew Emma from college. Emma stole her boyfriend, but they became BFF after Emma dropped out to model, leaving my loser jailbird brother to Karla and her frizzy black hair.

That night I dreamed Emma’s sassy, southern-belle cooter was with me at the triplex. We were sitting on the café patio, a geometry of stars overhead, some constellation I kept trying to recall from school—Orion, I decided, and we were chatting about movies, Chasing Amy, I think. “She” had the same sugar and molasses drawl as Emma, deliriously pink lips, and would call demurely to couples walking by, “How ya’ll doin’?”

Emma’s vulva wanted to know about hearts.

None of the passing lovers thought this was odd. They smiled or said, “Fine, thanks for asking,” holding hands.

In the morning Emma was lying next to me, golden locks curled around the pillow, like silky storybook ribbon.

When she opened her lids, emeralds fell out, but I couldn’t look. I’d stolen away with her vestibule last night while she slept. After we’d made love, Emma, her vagina, and I, I had cheated on Emma by running off and wild with her Eden-naked sugar truffle, without even leaving the guestroom bed. I’d kissed those delicate labia, made those tender promises under the stars—about a future I didn’t really see Emma’s cooter and I could share.

Karla appeared in the doorway, pink robe half-open, carrying a tray of black coffee and burnt toast, sat down between Emma and me. Karla slathered butter with a gleaming knife. Wanted to know, How did I like the heart position?

I rubbed my eyes, asked if this was love.


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As Michael Dwayne Smith, I did not invent the English language, but I have messed it pretty well. Mastermind behind stories, poems, hybrid works found at Word Riot, BLIP, Monkeybicycle, >kill author, Orion headless, Northville Review, Phantom Kangaroo, Right Hand Pointing, Short Fast & Deadly, and wow just so many rock candy stores or stereophonic outlets near you. Lastly, rumor of my being abducted by aliens untrue, though I am a meat Popsicle.


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