Tender Is a Nice Way of Describing Meat

by Ben Segal

‘The becoming or state of being adult’ is as good a way as any of defining adultery. Or at least it bears that relation, which is quite frankly unbearable. Either way, here’s a failure of fidelity:

“This is what once was a sapling. And before and after that there’s something to do with seed.”

Her pillows steep in the scent of sweat, gather hairs. She is describing the oak they can see outside her bedroom window. The rhetorical function of the oak is to signify strength, firmness, and also the phallus or her lover’s. The oak outside her window is a mature plant and blooming.

The sex is almost beside the point; it coincides with the point exactly.

Ben Segal is the author of ’78 Stories’ (No Record Press, 2008), a series of interconnected narratives written in the form of a crossword puzzle and printed on a single, very large sheet of paper. His short work has appeared in various publications, including Lamination Colony, elimae, and Wigleaf. He currently lives in Philadelphia and is a founding contributor at www.ghostisland.wordpress.com.

Back to Issue Three: Spring 2009