It's past midnight. I'm hunkered down with a chunky gal from the
art gallery, the one with the thick glasses and impasto cheeks.
The coffee table is stacked with take-out boxes, her earrings, a
copy of The Brothers Karamozov, and 24 empty bottles from
wine coolers that stand witness to our loneliness. But this
Rubenesque angel, stretched across my couch in full scale, has
forgiven the horns rising from my temples, my cloven hooves and
hideous snout, as she beckons me with a stubby finger into the

I rear up on my hind legs to follow and I can't help but think
of old man Karamazov, his ability to find something erotic in
any woman, no matter how homely, as I'm drawn to her clavicle
like some strange sexual beacon. For in that delicate curve,
that stretch of horizon where the wind delicately lashes the
dark oil of time, I focus on the gentle strokes of her collar, kiss
her softly about the face and neck, while groping those cornucopias of flesh
like candied apples.

The next morning, we awake to find ourselves trapped inside a painting at
the art gallery, unable to hide from the constant tours of school children
who point and giggle at our nakedness.

Copyright © 2000 Jose Chaves

Jose Chaves is currently living in Bogota, Colombia, on a Fulbright scholarship,
putting together an anthology of the Latin American "micro-cuento," or short
short story.  His own work has recently appeared, or is forthcoming in,
The Atlanta Review, Highbeams, CrossConnect and Exquisite Corpse.