Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Nurse's Nipple Stain

The nurse is snoozing on the patio in the white iron chair. Her clothing cannot be removed easily. The general sits nearby at the stone table assembling a picture puzzle of etched glass. In his nudity, one sees the muscular twitches seemingly set off by the twak twak twak of moths inside the flimsy stove pipe as it winds its way through the haunted shadows of the Imperial and drooping vines. The violinist smoothes his hair while still remaining absolutely suave holding the bow and the fiddle in one thin hand whose only ring is that of a golden devil's head with two bright red ruby eyes. There is danger in the air, but the danger is wooden like a sled, badly painted, suffering from exhaustion, weary, longing, svelte and duplicitous. There is a weak- headed hound near a black terracotta hand whose collar seems made of snake's skin, and is decorated with a tiny tinny music box whose song is trapped forever inside the rusty useless teeth of the mechanism. The nurse's drool makes a lovely stain just above her nipple, giving one the impression of a movable nipple. Her clothing cannot easily be removed. In the corner of the patio is a tiny model of a dark red keep in which a nameless bird inspects a nameless seed and does not seem pleased. The general makes a sound like an ape whose foot has been caught in a clink trap. "Mekagh!" The general says this, and the violinist takes it as a sign to begin playing a sad and baleful tune reminding one of the story of the charge of the light brigade, or rather the discharge of the dark brigade. There is a photo album on a small table near the drooling nurse whose images are those of brigands saluting around a campfire. One image appears to have a kind of crust or dusting of sugar or sand. In the distance a red brick wall elicits no feeling in anyone present, and the dirty lavender sky goes unnoticed by all except the weak headed hound who thinks of it as a bone, a bone whose edges are music. The general is not bored, but his mouth is trembling. The nurse is awake now, but her baggy eyes do not reveal much, perhaps a slight desire for toast, or a bath.

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