Alisha Karabinus

Like You’ve Never Seen Me Before

We start innocent enough, with you saying I’ve always wanted to do it on a park bench, and me adding during the day, which makes you laugh so hard you kick over your beer, and when I’m on my knees sopping it up, you slap my ass and say, I always wanted a blowjob in the kitchen while dinner was cooking and I say but we did that and your grin says, I know.

While I’m in the bathroom rinsing the rag, you ease into the kitchen for a couple fresh beers, and then back in the living room, you push me against the sofa and roll the bottle down my naked arm, saying, What about outfits, baby, like corsets and those lacy skirts? Shivering, with condensation beading cold on my skin, I say and stripper heels? Because I cannot walk in those things, and you’re laughing, saying no, I always hated pornos when the girls still had shoes on, so I say you could be a pirate and I could be a wench and then we’re a knot of beer tongues and hot fingers, with you whispering arrrrr.

Then, real quiet, I say I always wanted to fuck a cheerleader, like I was a man and you pull back, grimacing, surprised, saying Like with a. . . I mean and I say sure, those fleshy thighs around my waist, me holding her hips, you know it.

Thoughtful now, you say, a college cheerleader? And then I’m holding onto your fist like it’s a microphone, singing Benny Mardones, She’s just sixteen years old, leave her alone, they say when your hand opens up and pushes me back, not really hard, but hard enough to say you’re disgusting and my eyes are burning when I say what? and you say nothing, but you’re not looking at me any longer, and suddenly I wonder if I didn’t want some firm young cheerleader so I could be the one pushing, so it could be me drawing all the lines.

Alisha Karabinus recently obtained an MFA in fiction from Purdue University and serves as executive editor of Revolution House. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as the Pinch, Passages North, Southeast Review, Flyway, and the Raleigh Review. She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, with her husband and children.