Skip to main content

The Text Stares Back

John Edgar Wideman.
Hiding Place
Once upon a time. Once upon a time, he thought, if them stories I been hearing all my life are true, once upon a time they said God's green earth was peaceful and quiet. Seems like people bigger then. They had time to listen, time to talk and room to move round in. Aunt Aida talking bout people like they giants. That world was bigger, slower and he'd get jumpy, get lost in it. Like now in this stillness and quiet each sound seems too loud, seems strange because the roar of the city isn't here to drown the noises of his body, the noises of insects and trees and somebody else's breathing. But once upon a time him and Sarah alone in the middle of the night. Just the two of them and the world sleeping and you get mixed up. Can't tell whose stomach growls, who moans, whose warm juice running down your thigh. Because it's late and the city's asleep outside the window, outside the walls. You're in a story. There's room enough to do what you need to do, what you have to do. Sarah rolls closer and you can hear your fingers stroking her skin, yo can hear the line you trace up her back and over her shoulder and down her breast. She is big as the sky. You can hear her nipple stiffening, growing to meet the palm of your hand. And when you hold your hand lightly above her breast so it just touches, just barely rubs the hard tip of her softness yo can hear how it feels as your palm circles like coming in for a landing but no hurry, no rush, just gliding in slow circles in the air while you listen.

the stillness unbroken. Sarah rolls closer t him and rises slightly on her elbow so the ring of darker brown around her nipples is visible an instant as the covers fall away from her brown shoulders and he swallows hard because those soft eyes other chest have a way of seeing through him and around him and taking his breath away. No matter how many times he stares at them or fondles them or mashed them with his chest when he's inside her.
A passage which puts one in mind of Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille if only because of the preponderance (or rather mere mention) of eyes and the connection to the erotic.