Image by Yvan Kawecki

Anne Lesley Selcer

She Opens Like an Angel Toward the World

She’s in the reeds. A nest of red is pulsating all ways around her head. She’s been smothered in seawater for days—caves of colored stones, unfamiliar creatures with eyes that flash. She pulls herself onto the bank. Let’s think about her body, draped in watery scarves and sashes. Let’s think of her legs flexing, as she thinks of us, watching. “I love the shadow world more than thee,” she thinks back at us, hauls one shapely leg over an erect cattail and centers herself on it. Sensation rushes in, bigger, brighter than her hair. Her head is on fire; she fucks til she’s done.

A choir of aquatic plants gives praise. She picks an unsandled foot along them. Giant white lily pad flowers open slightly. She’s hunting gently; the sky turns one degree from noon. A million-fold plants repeating is not quite enough for our hero. A hawk slices blue sky. She casts up bright green eyes. Her green eyes shout and with exactitude hone in on her next sexual meal.

She begins to climb a tree. O chorus of bees, o beautious dragonfly, you alone understand this form, heroic in its overcoming of everything not pleasure. The tree trunk receives her soft, cream-like feet. She smiles unconsciously up at its peak. The top is waiting for her so silent, so still…so gorgeously silent, so reliably still. She climbs to its head and encircles its trunk, she strokes its topmost leaves. Above her ember gleaming head, the hawk guards a patch of sky. She mounts the tip of the tree. A dragonfly climbs higher than ever it has flied.

All fauna and foliage is combed back and sated, sleepy and submissive as her feet return to ground. She casts green eyes toward the edge of the water. Smiling, one sucker tentacle pokes between the reeds. Her familiar monster. Our hero’s eyes narrow and flash bright green as her appetite meets its former match…

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