The age spots on his forearms scrape, husk like, against your skin. You are not sure why you did this. It is not enjoyable, and you didn’t really need the money. Often we are both victim and perpetrator, hydroplaning across the ice frozen over all the ugly. It is hard to tell what’s ours, where other people begin. His lips lie soft and withered against his gums. He is repulsive because he is not: a divorced professor who studies bees, soft-spoken, a father and not a demon, last night he bought you carbonara, the round little peas and placental streaks of prosciutto, asked gently if you were feeling well, if you’d like to go home. You said no because you thought you’d become powerful, become new, an empress pointing thumbs up or thumbs down: hardened. But his mouth on your nipples, it destroys you, this inversion, the old seeking succor from the young. Last night he told you about bee-keeping, how he cares for what he most loves wearing a suit and a mask.
Jason Phoebe Rusch's work has appeared in Entropy, Bust magazine, Civil Coping Mechanism's A Shadow Map anthology and is forthcoming from Lambda Literary's poetry spotlight. They have an MFA in fiction from University of Michigan, where they received several Hopwood awards. They can be found at www.jasonphoeberusch.com and @JasonPhoebRusch.