No More

by Lilia Souzay

Words from somewhere in the middle of your night, the title of a story you or I might have written. No more please sorry. One line, unpunctuated. Reading, I imagine that whatever it is I have done to you must feel like being sat on, hips straddled, and slapped in the face - hard. 

Dawn outside is a grey mass, what is left of the night's chill slips between my thin t-shirt and belly skin. Somewhere else you once wrote that being loved when you don't love in return equals rape. Making dinner that night, I wanted to slam my hands on the hot plates as punishment. 

Did you know that as an old man, dying, Matisse told an interviewer that each one of his art works began as a flirtation and ended as rape? Before I knew this or anything of love, I walked through a museum sending you his titles. Bathers with a turtle. Woman on a high stool. Interior with dog. Harmless, simple, sweet - unless you imagined them otherwise. I imagined the story I was telling you, a story I had never told anyone before. Flowing from my mind into yours. Without being misunderstood.