It's a beautiful day: sunny, crisp, cloudless. I'm walking
down the boulevard in the middle of my life, just a tiny fist of
apprehension in the center of the chest as I catch a glimpse of myself
in a store window, reminding me I'm out looking for an eight
millimeter to tape myself dancing because someone said I'm too
stiff in the middle though I figure I'm OK for a white guy. So I
find a camera shop: the owner is doing his best to fix me up but I
don't see anything I like til his sister appears in a short red
dress, displaying an expanse of gorgeous thigh. She shows me the latest
thing. "Consumers' gives it a ninety-two," she says,
thrusting a hip at me. "You're at least a ninety-two," I
say with a dry mouth, "Maybe a hundred, but you must have a flaw
somewhere." Her lips are very red and wet." If you start
licking," she says, "Maybe you'll find it."
"Sorry," I say shortly, "But I've got a previous
And I do. Outside, under that brilliant sky, I'm on the ground
with the store detective's thirty-eight against my ear.
"Shoot!" somebody hollers. He cocks and squeezes six times.
Watching me shake uncontrollably, he laughs. "You deserve
this," she says, standing right above me, legs apart. My eyes trace
the curve Of her thigh til it disappears in the darkness. A voice
whispers "Maybe if you were taller you'd get more." I
think: that's it. First thing tomorrow, cowboy boots.
William Kulik's translations of poems by Jacob, Desnos, Tzara,
Laforgue, and Frenaud have previously appeared in APR. A collection of
his own work, Night and Day: Poems in Verse and Prose, is looking for a