Marlene Mae Thinks Like a Slug
That morning Marlene Mae was thinking like a slug, slowly or not at all, when his hand oozed onto her belly, and she knew too soon he would be trying to squeeze out her secrets as he squeezed out toothpaste, clutching the tube in his media res grasp with little thought and less foreplay. Let’s take it slowly, she said, like that polyphletic gastropod the Leopard slug, him of spots that do not change, and, still half asleep, she imagined them thus, he nibbling at the slime trail she had laid down, decorously following her up a sapling and snacking at her foot before sliding down the rope of mucous they would excrete for each other. Swinging from their passionate cord for an hour or three, they would wind their slippery selves around the other’s torso—the self is so slippery, isn’t it?—and they had time, it was only 5 a.m.
But too soon his male organ began protruding from just behind his head, so it is as they say, thought Marlene Mae, sex, all in the head, and since she was thinking like a slug, he must be turning his mind inside out. Good grief—her own male organ was protruding, slowly of course, because though the slug is a slug at most things, at sex it is hermaphroditic, equipped to give and take, something that for a second or half a second half-pleased Marlene Mae’s sense of equality, though deep down she knew it could be give and fake. And now so quickly those cerebral male organs were growing longer and longer, and they, too, tête-à-tête, began to entwine their transparent cables, see-through snakes coupling, and below them, an adorable adoring flex fanned out to form a translucent, flowerlike globe through which lucid sperm passed from one to the other, fertilizing both. Or that’s what she imagined—but it was over so fast, and he was unfastened and fast becoming the retracted blob dropping to the throw rug. She slipped back under the sheets, supposing he must worry now about desiccation.
Editor's Note: Don't miss "The Big Bang of Prose Poetry," Carol Dorf's introduction to prose poetry in TW.
- "Waking Up Slowly" © Ebenezer Archer Kling; used by permission
Lois Marie Harrod’s thirteenth book Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis is forthcoming from WordTech in March 2013. She won the 2012 Tennessee Chapbook Prize for her manuscript The Only Is. Her eleventh book Brief Term, poems about teaching, was published by Black Buzzard Press (2011), and her chapbook Cosmogony won the 2010 Hazel Lipa Chapbook Contest. Over 500 of her poems have been published online and in print journals from American Poetry Review to Zone 3.
She teaches creative writing at The College of New Jersey.