Tuesday, December 09, 2008


he stands above me, holding on to the el train pole. he's a downtown-bound business-suited man with a newspaper for a face. the arm of his thick wool coat gapes open and i can see up his sleeve. from this angle, i can see the crisp starched cuff of his clean white button-up shirt. the cuff is stiff and standing out like a protective barrier (like those plastic cones they put around a dog's neck to keep it from licking a wound). from this angle, i peek inside his cuff and see skin, see the sandy hair on his arm, the gap between his palm and wrist, where the skin is soft and there are rippled creases from bending. i want to lick that skin. i imagine it as clean as his shirt is perfectly pressed. i wonder if i would feel a pulse on my tongue. i'm doubtful so i slide up my own sleeve to test (no, i don't think so, unless it's my own pulse, in my own tongue, i might be feeling). i look around to see if he has caught me licking my wrist but he is still just a newspaper face. so i go back to staring up his sleeve until i feel like i'm being creepy, using this man against his will (certainly against his knowledge) like a high school boy sitting under the bleachers staring up some girl's skirt.