by Eden Garms
You crawl into bed with him, onto him, naked, and do a headstand on his chest. You place your clasped hands just below where his collarbones meet, your head on his sternum outlined by you forearms. You kick up, just like in class. In class you’ve been learning headstands. You’ve been learning headstands for a week. And you aren’t really very good at them because you’ve only been learning how for a week, and against a wall at that, but you wanted to be sexy and in your mind it went beautifully. In your mind you placed your head on his sternum and surrounded his heart with your arms, you pressed up diving straight into his heart. In your mind he looks up and sees your ass, toned from a whole month of yoga classes and he loves you all over again and you feel his heartbeat increase through the top of your head. But you aren’t good at headstands because you’ve only been learning them for a week, and with the support of the wall, so you slowly and awkwardly and nakedly topple to the side. You lay opposite him, upside down from him. Hiding your face in his calf, hopefully hiding your attempt at young seduction. You feel his hands lift your left foot and start working his fingers, massaging the cords of your sole. At first your leg is stiff, stiff like this is the first time he has touched the bottom of your feet, but you’ve been with him for years, so you relax into his gesture. He nuzzles the protruding bone of your ankle. You
feel his whiskers wiry against your skin, your skin that no longer hides the greenish-blue lines running up from your ankles and branching out. He lifts your leg and places a pillow beneath the crux of your knee and says, “There, that’s better.” And you start feeling like a stranger looking in from the dark side of the window.
You are witnessing something, an intimacy that is not yours, but you can’t look away. You watch him with your leg, a growing discomfort in your gut. He caresses the whole leg and then just the calf. He kisses indiscriminately along the bones and curves and dimples. He kisses a patch of spider veins and you can’t look away. You watch as he nuzzles the leg and cradles it in his arm. It seems to you that this man is perverse, because what kind of man seduces a leg? Why is this man in a lit room, behind a window, with a lone leg? Where did he find a crinkly and dimpled veiny leg? You watch until he falls asleep, and you still can’t look away. You stand in the window and wonder what he will do with the leg next. You watch until that left leg falls asleep, too. And then you remember that it is your left leg, and that the shiny stream on your leg is drool and that your leg is completely and utterly asleep.
Eden Elizabeth Garms, a Florida native, is earning her MFA at the University of Tampa. Orange cats are her spirit animal, and she is a self-diagnosed asshole.