It was a face that I'd traced over tententen twentytwenty thirtymaybefortythreeandahalf times before. Something deliciously unsettling, I couldn't bear to turn away, ice-struck ice-killer, frozen solid into a gaze that I didn't sharpen. Did not perfect.

You always cross the street if the other sidewalk is emptier. I love dinner parties. The overly climactic human gaze at humor that spills green and inky out of purple mouths marked by red wine and something made from rhubarb and someone's husband's addiction to vampy lipstick. The respiting shoulders on load bearing, scoliosis impending, cervicalthoraciclumbarsacrumcoccyx columns that sigh into the arms of worn out couches and pool table innings. And you know how much I love the smell of it, from all the times I've asked you how you like my cologne and favorite candles. Sweaty and sarcastic and full of garlic and that one friend's income taxes burning by the candlelight. I chose Sweet Tobacco though you said you liked Moccato Cherry. Never particular about the company, usually. I wouldn't think you a fan of dinner parties, your telling affection for quietdark. But you like bread and salmon and olives on sticks and martinis and, even though this, I didn't think I'd find you at the feast. On the silver platter. Girls' fingers in your mouth like a pig with an apple, but still oinking. Deep and Breathy and Staring Me In The Eye With A Smile. I heard it down the hallway, thought you were waiting, dirtyputrid, goodtimegirlstupid, just getting the stove hot.

They say three is company but I wonder what they say about four and a fifth that accidentally sauntered through her own front door, hoping to jump some bones or watch Oprah or look for cheap clothes on eBay in her own bed. Would they say it's crashing the party? I'm sorry, lovely, I didn't bring any Caprese salad to dinner but here, in my swollenachey nailbeds is a new recipe for paralysis. They look like fun girls. Beautiful dollar store diamond bracelets (bracingyourwristsatthetopofthebed)! What a nice shade of smeared red (pinningyoudownandsuckingyourchest)! Lovely dyed blond hair (thatbobsupanddownoveryourhips)! What perfectly onion-bulbous breasts (thathityourinnerthighs)! Is there another table setting? Can I cut a slice of the ham? I don't eat meat, but if it will make you happy. If it will make you happy. If it will make you happy, if they make you happy. If they make you happy.

Guests tend to be grateful for direction, I've found. Please sit here, bring this, take off your shoes, kill the kids, sharpen the knife, crack the hooves, loosen the chains, vomit into the fire, play with the dagger, sacrifice your eyes, fold the napkins. A gentle host, that's all you were doing. Panting pantsless and begging to be cradled, innocent, childlike, by the four mothers that stream their wetness down your cavernous ingress to make sure you are hydrated and happy. Happy looks more and more like pain as you get happier. Happier. As you reach the end.

You found me seconds after I entered the room, like you'd heard me as I'd heard you, flouncing fluid-unnerved like a priest to a silent child, sickly. Eyes somehow bluer, entranced and feeling like the biggest man. Purple-red wine stains from the dinner party in blotches carnivorously smooth carving paths from your jawline down your chest. Your chest that jumps and lumps over and turns slightly in my direction as the stains beckon me over and as I turn from human to machine. Edit, undo. Edit, undo. Edit. Undo. Undoing the prim bow above her garters. Still fixed on a silly little thing, soap scum on the toilet bowl and grainy bowl of mac and cheese, was your finger in her? Was your hand guiding her, Good Host? Tugging her hair or braiding it? Telling her you loved her? Telling her you loved her. You were telling her you loved her. And you were looking at me. Your lips were bleeding.

They ate you. The silver platter clean and shiny. The guests satisfied and evaporating, droplets on my forehead and dribbles on my metallic facade. Boy Who Likes The Rain, and his abiding little guests, little women, big girls, satiated by my circuit fire that burned my bedroom tantric and in infinitum. All six of your hands anti-dividing, slithering out of my night-wired, hell-bent on snipping my thighs open, runny and the only wet spilled down my guzzle who prays for blades, dreams, and into your shirt sleeves. Miles and miles away.

Good morning. Boy Who Likes the Rain. My night was splendiferous. Yes, I know you like that word. Thank you for the good dream wishes. Good morning. I don't love you. I cross the street when there are blonds and I smell kinky jewelry. Good morning. You too. Thanks.