The Woman


“I will remember the kisses, our lips raw with love and how you gave me everything you had and how I offered you what was left of me and I will remember your small room the feel of you, the light in the window, your records, your books, our morning coffee, our noons our nights, our bodies spilled together sleeping, the tiny flowing currents, immediate and forever, your leg my leg, your arm my arm, your smile and the warmth of you who made me laugh again.” ? Charles Bukowski

I imagine her dark hair was probably waist-length. She would wake up from her hungover slumber and run her fingers through it in lieu of a comb. Maybe she would braid it and pin it up in the back, tiny ringlets, a tribute to Shirley Temple in the film Heidi. She probably owned a big floppy hat, yellow or perhaps moss green with a polka dot ribbon wrapped around the base. She would put her feet up on the dash and he would drive along the California coastline. I’m sure she smelled of sea salt and lilacs, not lilacs, maybe lavender. She smelled like purple.

Her eyes were probably heavy, heavy carrying the burden of the pain she had seen. Perhaps an alcoholic father whose love of the bottle forced the family apart or maybe an automobile accident she witnessed and could not help and I’m sure she really would have wanted to. Heavy eyes but trusting and kind. The type you could see juggling clowns and baby lambs in. Eyes that told a story, eyes you couldn’t bear to look at for long.

Maybe she was Hispanic. Maybe she had hands that rolled tortillas and feet that could dance le Quebradita. She would have had brothers. Many, many brothers, brothers who loved her more than themselves but brothers who couldn’t express it. So she ran away. They were probably older brothers.

I bet she loved to sleep, and read and write. I bet that’s why he fell in love with her. Her favourite position was curled up on the front porch hammock nestled between two blue posts of that California Victorian. That house was a place for misfits, for people who cared too much and people who didn’t care at all. She felt too much all the time, too much euphoria, too much sorrow, a roller coaster she got on that had no final destination. She was probably bipolar and chose to medicate herself with sleeping and reading and writing and coffee. Only black coffee, dark like her waist-length hair.

I bet she felt like Sunday morning. Her lips tasting like citrus, juicy and plump, lips that he could bite into and keep inside him. Lips you don’t forget. I’m sure her laughter was contagious, feeling her pain with every whimsical chuckle. I’m sure she was broken. I think he wanted to fix her. I think she would have liked him to but the broken can’t fix the broken so instead they chose to laugh, and sleep and drink coffee and dance le Quebradita.

I’m sure she didn’t want to leave but when things go right for too long she jumps before they go left. Maybe she smiled as she ran, that smile he loved and lost himself in. A smile that inspires, a smile one only dreams of, a woman who is no longer real. Red and raw with love.

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