Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

Come Hither
Rosalie Morales Kearns

Her long dark hair coils into snakes that reach out to me, hissing. Their lemon-yellow tongues flicker over my body. I shiver with pleasure but clench my teeth.

“You can’t have him,” I say.

“I already did,” she says, and the snake tongues shudder against my skin, laughing.

Her green eyes are ringed with mascara that drifts off her face and forms a mist around me, purple-gray flecks that choke my breathing.

The snakes are on the ground now, slithering toward a land of nonstop singing and dancing.

“You can follow,” she says. “You know the price.”

I start dancing. The snakes beneath my feet form themselves into a trampoline and I am dancing in huge, awkward hops, higher and higher until the earth and the trampoline and the black snaky hair and kohl-rimmed green eyes disappear.

Her voice sounds next to me, a sultry alto whisper.

“Is he that good?” she says. “Is he worth it?”

Rosalie Morales Kearns is a writer of Puerto Rican and Pennsylvania Dutch descent, with a short story collection, Virgins and Tricksters, just published from Aqueous Books. One of the stories in the collection received a Special Mention in the 2013 Pushcart Prize collection. Her poems and short stories have appeared most recently in Prime Number, Witness, and The Nervous Breakdown, and she has essays and reviews published or forthcoming in Necessary Fiction, Her Kind, and Fiction Writers Review. She earned an MFA from the University of Illinois, and has taught creative writing at Illinois and SUNY-Albany.