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THE FALL by Sara Lippmann

Last night I passed out as you fucked me for 100 hours for 18 years on the living room floor. The mood was right: kids out, throw pillows deftly arranged, fire doing its snap crackle pop, flames licking the grate. There was wine and weed—an empty house!—so it could’ve been the freedom alone and not the fucking though I believe it was. We all believe something. I also hadn’t eaten and you know how I get (after a day, 100 hours, 18 years.) Your words: A woman needs food, sustenance. 

A woman needs (insert here) 

What I remember: four posts (two hands two knees) on the floor, skin burning wood. In another life this might qualify as harness breaking but I was no horse I was already domesticated we were married this was our kind of violence (our love) on the living room floor there was no breaking free. We fucked so long my head swelled (bloviated!) my body ballooned until it ceased to be a body but a bounce castle to pound and sink into I yielded like a catcher’s mitt you tunneled then I tunneled we mastered the slippage for a period of grace but after eternity images break loose, vision blurs, as a child we watched stations of snow and test patterns we’d watch anything but (snow is a relic) I can no longer work the TV—anyhow, here we were, streaming!—there was no getting off only giving in, a distant cry from the sidelines of tilt-a-whirl: no stopping a moving ride once it’s started.

How easy to lose track of time when things take forever. I am quick. Call it manners. Women are taught. I’ve never made you wait, whereas you were taking your sweet time, well beyond sweet, this was neither prowess nor stamina, this was—who is she, who is he? All I could think: Surely, you’re cheating. It was that long. I may have growled it. I cannot be sure.

Again, maybe it was the wine or weed. It’s not like I’ve ever been fucked unconscious. Poke that feather in your slot, hubs, and puff it.

The fire spat like party snaps, rolling papers pouched with gravel and gunpowder and given to kids by the fist. Not enough to do anything serious. It sounded like a gun going off but nothing went off, least of all you, I grew older I grew a beard I lost myself—sometimes you lose—we were motion not matter we would die here beside the burning hearth until (finally! unceremoniously! Pfft!) you went off and I stood, plugged for the powder room, but when I came to there I was naked and bent like a thief, leaking spoils on cold tile.

Later, there’d be the goose egg the 3 a.m. scare the rainy ride to the ER the throbbing wait the moon rock knocking of the MRI machine you’re in luck it could have been worse the brain scrambles in the aftermath of seizing a mysterious pair of thumb-sized burns stacked on my back like a colon.

But now—

Now, there was only me, swirling, looking up from the living room floor: What happened?

And you, looking down: Oh. Baby, you fell.

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