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A Ghost is Born
by Cheryl Diane Kidder

I knew the minute he was finally inside me again, the way he touched me, how he smelled, how his neck tasted, the pressure of his hips on mine, the way his feet pushed at the floor, the way we lay on the carpet and not the bed, I knew hed been with someone else and at the same instant I knew that all the times in the last two years when I thought hed been with someone else that he hadnt because it was so very clear to me now, exactly now, what it felt like to fuck the man I adored when the last woman he was with was right there in the room with us.
    She wasnt a strong presence but she moved in and out, around us as we pushed and pulled along my living room carpet. Id catch her scent when he turned his head and my tongue was in his ear, his hair all over my face, she was there, close by and nothing I did, no screaming, no thrashing, no nail gouges on his back could make her leave.
    After two years of knowing this man, fucking him tonight was new and not new in the way when a lover goes away and comes back and his flesh is new to you again, but new in the way that this would be the last time, because this knowledge, knowing so clearly where he had been and the longer we went at it, getting to know the woman by the way he touched me, the way he ran his mouth over my legs, the time he spent on my breasts, my neck, his hands on my ass, was all done with her legs, her breasts, her neck and she was here, close now and every move I made, I made around her, despite her, because of her.
    Every time in the past, the moment his cock would touch me my back would arch, Id come a little in anticipation and he knew it. But this time, this last time, I lay flat on the carpet, very aware of my ass rocking across the nape, aware of where my hands were, what my mouth was doing, where I put my feet because I knew she was watching, with his eyes, but she was there, watching and the next time he went to her I wondered if I would be there, if she would see me in his hair, smell me on his chest, taste me on his thigh. Would she know what I knew so clearly, what this orgasm couldnt make up for, what my head finally at rest on his shoulder would never tell him? Would the memory of me haunt them as much as the figure I could plainly see now on the couch across the room, impatient and naked, waiting her turn?

About the author:
Cheryl Diane Kidder completed her B.A. in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University and is close to completing her M.A. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in In Posse Review, The Reed, Amelia, Dog River Review, Alchemy, The Story Garden, The California State Poetry Journal, Insolent Rudder, August Cutter, Three Candles, Outsider Ink and the Clackamas Literary Review. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for 2004.

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