No Talking

Sex for her as a teenager is like a trip to the eye doctor. Put the apparatus to the organ and switch it around. Better or worse? Better or worse? One or two? Her friend tells her it was nothing but two pumps and a squirt and that sticks with her. His friend told him it was like spelunking. Both think their friends are brusque and crude. So she goes over because his parents are gone that day and there is thunder like the cracking knuckles of stone hands. It’s more private with rain. They should call sex “no talking” so that it’s clear and nobody is left out about that fact. But they leave on some transsexual musical like that’s a good idea. He sings along. He doesn’t stop when she says, bicycle hipster style has pervaded into pop culture. Eventually even your style will be mainstream for a few months. My father smokes and now he has pluralcy. You mean, pleurisy. Right. For a long time I thought there was a something called a Noter Republic like Banana Republic. Those plants are tamarix, she just discovered. Your perfume could fuel a turkey fryer, your restless leg a pottery wheel. Turn off the TV, I want to show you something.

Harry Leeds is a writer of fiction and a translator of Russian poetry. He won the Black Warrior Review Fiction Prize, has other work upcoming and does a little journalism. He has also placed several poetry translations in Asymptote, The Birmingham Poetry Review, and The Broome Street Review. He is finishing his MFA from the University of Florida.