I want to lick the sweat off your neck,” said Delbert. “I want to feel the heat of your throat upon my fingers.”

Delbert,” I said. “I am a widow now. It has not yet been a week since I buried him.”

Jeremiah has nothing to say. All his words are buried. I mean you no insult, Charlotte. It’s just to say that I find you very desirable in your grief. I want to wash that grief off your skin.”

There was nothing I could say, and I sent him away. I don’t think it discouraged him. He was like a young boy with sand in his pockets, thinking he could build a castle.


I want to lay naked somewhere where there’s green and blue, rain on my skin, blades of grass tickling my arms and neck. I want to see the rain reflected in the sky, instead of this soft boiled onion that eats up all the colors.  I want a man to look at me as a friend, as someone apart from his own thirsty desires. I know it’s late, too late. Delbert sees none of those things in me, only breasts and tangled hair and legs to wrap around him. And when he was finished, he’d be finished with me, until the next time. And word gets around, I’d be reduced to a whore, someone willing to lay with a man for the price of a bowl of beans.

10 thoughts on “Naked

  1. Wow! This piece is so powerful. I keep reading it again and again and finding new things to love. Such poetic prose! So beautifully expressed — the sentiment of being a woman grieving — her longings surpassing mere bodily gratification…Well penned!


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