by Jose Chaves

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 bedroom.

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.

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 ReviewHighbeamsCrossConnect and Exquisite Corpse.