Her upper east side accent, regal bearing, direct gaze,
Rich black clothes and hair, dark eyes, pale skin sophistication
Intent on German culture, professed sexual freedom,
New York street junkie credentials, having kicked the needle,
And her habit of brushing her breasts lightly against him
When they met caused him to say, “I want to make love with you.”
Remaining very cool she cood, “Why, thank you. I’d like that –
In fact, so much I’d like to get to know you better first.”
She was in love with a man who was in love with a man
Who was in love with Rhosonny, who wanted without love.
She intimidated him with her selfpossessiveness,
Broader sexual experience, and age. She was his
Ever closer acquaintance whom he didn’t trust, his friend
In a superficial way, with whom he spent more and more
Time, mostly in coffee shops or walking around the East
Village but also in his tiny apartment. Not once
Did they hold hands, hug, touch, or kiss though they sat silently
Together sometimes and looked at each other. He only
Repeated his offer three times, weeks apart. She answered,
“Oh, we will. But not today.” He lost interest in her sexually
But enjoyed her electric company, intensity
Shared, which others commented on frequently, “Kunthia
And you have a strange thing for each other” or “I’m afraid
Of her. You’d better watch out with her” or “she really
Has a thing for you” or “Are you in love with Kunthia?”
Aside from a few gay men who liked rough trade, Rhosonny
Knew no-one in New York City. Kunthia was the first
Woman he got to know there though he’d had sex with others.
They were drinking coffee together in a bagel shop.
“I want to take you up on your offer,” voice a cool breeze
She focused both eyes on his one, “come to my apartment.”
They walked in silence up 7th Avenue to her place.
In silence they went in, not touching.
She indicated a couch.
“I need a shower”
She returned wrapped in a towel.
“Give me a few more minutes.”
She walked to the kitchen.
She picked up a bottle of water.
She stood behind him where he sat on the couch.
She pressed the bottle of water against his chest.
She rubbed her cheek against his neck.
She kissed his cheek and whispered in his ear,
“I’ll be back when my hair’s dry,”
Rhosonny began to weep
Was it the touch?
Was it the kiss?
Was it the water?
It had been so long
Had been so kind.