How a Woman Might Be
She likes to pass a mirror and be taken with a man's desire for her, strong and barely controlled. Always tall and olive-skinned with dark eyes, he never smiles, just lowers her to the floor. She can smell him. He smells like work.
She regrets sometimes not pursuing men, not wanting to seem needy or desperate, although sometimes she was. Most of those encounters would have been brief and ended in disappointment, but there might have been a few, with luck, that would have ended in agony. Now she's warm to compromise, and she knows she's more desirable than most, for the next several years anyway, barring accident. But even if the future holds no man, she knows who she is.
She flounces up and down the stairs, guiding the lemony rag across the bannister and up and down the spindles. She wonders if a baby's head could get stuck between them. The rich wood gleams. She smiles, a gap between her top two front teeth, and sings softly in French, "Hipopatame, hi-popatame."
As she eats she pages through a novel and swirls and sips her wine, admiring how the chicken nestles in the soft lettuce. A ripe tomato slice pokes out. She rereads her favorite passages, marked with great curvaceous brackets and tiny cryptic notes. She refills the wine.
Labels: from the notebooks