2 August 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 2


Because his penis was there in my hand as a butter knife would have been in my hand if I was about to butter bread. I wasn't about to butter bread or say no but I was happy nonetheless. It was a little weapon, a toy.

What was it like?

It was like he wouldn't listen to me but listening to me the way our father would listen to us with his eyes closed nodding yay ya, yay ya.

Ever consider keeping your big mouth shut?

With lipstick on it's hard to keep my mouth shut.

True, you never could be silent, not even with headgear.

Imagine the power of lips glossed to the max, fuchsia beyond the wildest fuchsia. The purse just fell out of my mouth and everything shutdown below the navel.

Are you mad?

In many ways I'm mad but not to worry. I'm not blind. I read the line in the book that said don't ask me why. I'm aligned with a few saints and Catherine the Great. I told him I was better off without him anyway.

The boat! The boat!

Sank in an unkind way, knife in hand and a sad old man's face instead of Hercules's.

Did you wear your headdress of bird feathers and make-believe?

Joey, I reached for my headdress of bird feathers and make-believe and these are the words I said: do you know how I feel?


His penis went kaput. It wasn't what I said or that I spoke but the fact that he was done. Finished with me before I was finished with him.

Ever considered a new wardrobe?

Never considered the possibility.

Ever read a book backwards for the heck of it?

I never dream in sequins.

What do you think this may represent?

A brand new day or some relevant cliché. A kind of confession in vacuo.

Little brother, I dreamt of you the other day. You were as androgynous as a boy in a tutu with make up and fathers all around you eurhythmically nodding 'yes' and dust and yards of tulle billowing at your heels.

I'm a kind of androgyny to you, aren't I brother dear? A little jazz and bone and starlight.

You will never know.

About the author:

Neil de la Flor's literary work has appeared in the Indiana Review, Hotel Amerika, Court Green, Barrow Street, Hayden's Ferry Review, and others. He is also the co-author of Facial Geometry, (NeO Pepper Press) a chapbook of collaborative triads written with Maureen Seaton and Kristine Snodgrass.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Neil de la Flor at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 2, where "Why?" ran on August 2, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry, prose poem.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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