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Summer's Wave

Their lips touched for the first time, delicate, hungry. The air was too hot for the evening breeze. A black cat sat on a rafter licking its summer coat, and watching as little bits of hay danced over the edge of the loft.
Benson knew he was supposed to do something now. He didn't know what, so he placed his hand on her neck, just below and slightly behind her ear. Betty smiled warm so he figured that must have been right. He liked the feel of her cool hands on his chest. They slid effortlessly under his shirt and then slowly down. Betty was just as scared.
Outside of the barn two men, exhausted from the day leaned on a post. Gabriel, the taller of the two, was smoking a pipe. He didn’t remember too much about satisfaction. He only knew how to appreciate what he had. He liked his straw hat, the way it sat on his head. He liked the way the sky still held some light after the sun sank down below the horizon. Neither of the men said much. They talked sometimes about the cotton. But it was an old story, the same sore hands.
Betty's hands were no better off, only younger, and somewhat more agile. They washed the grime off plates and scrubbed the gutters with a certain strength. She still wakes in the morning— as if it were something new. We jus run away, she often thought, we slip right out under they nose, leave our tracks in the river an be fogotten. Every night she would pray. "Tell me what to be, but they caint tell me what to think. You an mah thoughts Lord, gonna carry me far." Sometimes she would sing it when she worked outside, keeping it low under her breath, wary of listening ears.

Betty was always aware. It had been three months now that she was in love with Benson. Each day, she felt her body calling for him. Every sunset it had been growing stronger. That's why she was wrapped in his arms now. That's why she had her skirt hiked, carelessly, around her waist. That's what all this motion was about. Benson, he just knew it felt good, like a cool dip naked in the river. He could feel his body plunging in and jumping back out, tingling, wet, and refreshed. Slowly, he let the rapids rush over him.
On the rafter, a cat blinked three times quick. It looked away then, uninterested in what was left. The two heaving bodies lay suddenly still, twisted in the hay, and sucking deep, satisfied breaths. Betty's mind wandered over the fields. She wondered how the seeds, when planted early, started to grow. She thought sometimes, maybe they didn't.


ct said…
. . . hot . . .

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