Black Silk

by Ian Randall Wilson

We lasted ten minutes at the restaurant. Silver earrings. Alcove. Her hand on me under the table. The crushed strawberries did it, juice running down that luscious throat.

She started undressing in the car, her dark skin luminous. She drew off her black silk stockings and flicked them. She kept her legs open, showing herself off to me.

At my place, we ran for the apartment door. Three steps inside, she wrestled me down, panting, tearing at my clothes. Ripped my shirt and trouser buttons getting them off. Then she was on top and grinding.

“Hit me,” she said, out of nowhere. “Hit me hard.”

On the rough carpet, in the darkness, I was falling. She rocked harder; sweat trailed down the cleft between her breasts. She hunched further, pulled my hand to her face.

“Hit me. Please.”

And I did. Once, twice, then a third time—in the face. Left the imprint of my fingers on her dusky-colored cheek.

It gave her what she needed. She went rigid, then collapsed to the floor. Rolling to her side, she started crying.

I spent a long time in the bathroom, washing my hands. She knocked, kept knocking.

“Jeffrey, I have to talk to you,” she said.

Eventually she went away.

I never called. All that remains is a pair of black silk stockings folded in a drawer. Sometimes, when the light is gray or the night more empty than usual, I take them out. Then, I trace their crooked seams.

Ian is a contributing editor to the poetry journal 88. Recent fiction has appeared in the North American Review and The Gettysburg Review. He is on the faculty at the UCLA Extension. His first collection, “Hunger and Other Stories,” has just been published by Hollyridge Press.