[Tsaurah Litzky is a poet and writer of fiction, non fiction and erotica. Her work has appeared in Best American Erotica 95, 97, 99 and will be included in BAE 2001. She has also been published in Penthouse, LONGSHOT, The Unbearables, Crimes of the Beats, Appearances, Downtown Poets, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, Pink Pages, Beet and many other books and periodicals. Her poetry books include Kamikaze Lover (Appearances 1999) and the just published Good Bye Beautiful Mother (Low Tech Press 2001). Formerly a columnist for the now defunct New York arts weekly Downtown, she now teaches erotic writing and literature at the New School University.]

I started to think about doing it with Bruce when I heard him doing it with Marybeth. Peter would be sleeping at my side. The little rill of his outgoing breath was a steady counterpoint to the sexy moans and joyous sighs I could hear through the wall tht separated our rooms. Peter would smile in his sleep; sometimes he’d even hum, maybe in his pot-primed inner ear he heard their mating sounds as a pair of violins.

I don’t know where Peter is now. He may have a pot farm in British Colombia or a video store in Tampa or maybe he is a handful of dirt, but back then he always smoked a thick joint before we retired for the night. Sitting in bed, naked under the covers, he would savor it down to a tiny roach. He’d put the roach in the ash tray on the bedside table for his morning hit. Then he would yell into the bathroom across the hall from our room, usually just as I was putting in my diaphragm, “Hey babe, get your sweet ass in here. I’ve got something for you.”

What he had was a small, sturdy cock commendable for its thickness, having about the same five inch circumference as my wrist but he was not very imaginative as to how he used it, he did the same things every time we fucked. He did have a good heart and he was crazy for me. I was his olive-skinned exotic jewess with a thick black pubic bush like a wooly rug. He loved to rub his face in it. He loved my chocolate-colored nipples so much that when he sucked on my tits the look of pure pleasure on his face was so intense it frightened me. His ardent devotion was beginning to bore me and his jokes no longer amused me and he didn’t have the prankster imagination or pirate heart to hold me. I had begun to put extra Koromex jelly in my diaphragm so I’d be even wetter and slicker and he would get very excited and come right away. He’d pull out, murmur, “I love you, babe,” and fall asleep

I knew I had to leave him. I’d lie awake beside him plotting my escape. No matter what or how I told him it would be the same kick in the balls. He would be devastated. I thought about just walking down through the Mission over Russian Hill to US 1 and sticking out my thumb. It was the coward’s way but maybe it would be for the best.

 While I tossed and turned, unable to sleep, I’d hear Bruce and Marybeth going at it. At the end she’d always let out a big shreik. I’d hear some rustling sounds as if they were nesting against each other and settling in for the night but within a few minutes, they would start again. I’d get excited, put my hand inside my crotch, match my rhythm to their moans. Sometimes they’d do it three or four times and I’d enjoy a vicarious night of  love. I wonder how much my excitement was increased by the fact Bruce was my cousin.

My mother’s sister Mildred had taken up with a petty hood named Cappy who ditched her when Bruce was two. She married a plumber and she and Bruce moved upstate to Buffalo.

When I was thirteen and he twenty, Bruce moved back to New York where he got a mechanics job out at Lockheed on Long Island. On Sundays he would visit us, driving up on his Harley, bringing candy and comics for me and my little brother. He was six foot, three inches tall, the tallest man in our family. He had his father’s size and my aunt’s black hair and startling blue eyes. I thought he looked like a giant Warren Beatty in Splendor in the Grass. My mother would let him ride me around the block on his motorcycle. The nipples on my new little breasts hardened when I put my arms around his waist and leaned my chest against his long back.

The last time he came to visit he arrived with Marybeth on the back of his motorcycle. She was dressed in black sweater, black miniskirt, black tights. I was already reading The Village Voice and when I asked her if she was a beatnik, she laughed and said yes. Before she and Bruce left she gave me the charm bracelet she was wearing. It had traffic sign charms on it that said STOP and GO. Now ten years later her I was listening to her come and wondering about the size of Bruce’s cock.

Bruce and Marybeth opened their home to us when Peter and I arrived in San Francisco in our Ford pick-up truck. When I called from a phone booth in North Beach a block from

She found herself staring
at the curve of Bruce’s
tight ass in his jeans

their place, Bruce’s first words to me were, “Cousin, I wondered when you’d show, come right over.” They put us in their spare room. Bruce got Peter a job at the garage he worked in. I spent my days panhandling in Golden Gate Park. We had almost enough saved up for our own place but everyday I felt more and more like running away. I found myself staring at the curve of Bruce’s tight ass in his jeans or watching his mouth move as he talked.

One morning Bruce and I were the first ones awake. I was making coffee and he was seated at the kitchen table rolling a  J. The sunlight filtered through the leaves of Elizabeth’s plants on the windowsill and made a lacy pattern on the pine top of  the kitchen table. Bruce lit up. The rich, resiny pot smell floated out into the sunny room as the smoke mingled with the clear morning light.

I brought Bruce his coffee and set the cup down on the table in front of him. He lifted the J. to his lips again, then he took his hand down and left it. dangling from his mouth. With one swift movement he put that hand up under the oversized T-shirt that was all that I had on. He put his palm against my vulva and his middle finger up inside me. I was surprised at how wet I was. My womb contracted around his finger as naturally as if his finger was what it was made for. I could not look at him and instead looked down at the leaf pattern on the table top. Outside in the street an impatient driver leaned against his horn. Then we heard Marybeth’s light footsteps coming down the hall. Bruce pulled his hand out and I took a few steps back towards the sink.

“You two early bird cousins, what birds of a feather,” Marybeth said, smiling fondly at us as she entered the room.

Later that day a friend of  Marybeth’s called. He was leaving a two room apartment on Potrero Hill. Peter and I decided to take it. Within a week we were in our new pad on Wisconsin and Twenty-Fourth. The window above the kitchen sink looked out across the harbor. I could watch the big ships take off for China while I did the dishes. Peter’s Louisiana drawl, which I used to find charming, now constantly annoyed me. I found myself snapping at him, “I’ll be old and gray before you finish this story,” or, “I have to go to the can, tell me later.” I was spending a lot of time in the bathroom when he was home, just sitting on the commode.

One morning after Peter had left for work, I was dusting our window seat when I realized that it was actually a built-in chest. Inside I found a bunch of  S&M magazines. They were filled with photos of nude or scantily clad women in chains being whipped by men in hoods and obese women licking the boots of men in business suits or policemen’s uniforms.  There was even a picture of a woman clad only in a diaper giving a man a blow job with what looked like shit smeared all over her face. Some of the men were grinning but all the women looked sad. They were trapped on the pages of the magazine and I was trapped with a man I didn’t love. I felt sad and angry. I wanted some comfort so I took the picture of the shit-faced woman to the bed . I fingered myself as I pressed my tongue to the woman’s paper cheek. I pretended I had a fat cock in my mouth. I was so excited I came in less than a minute but my unhappiness was undiminished.

I got up, gathered the magazines together, threw them back in the window box and slammed the top down. I had to leave or I’d go crazy. I called Bruce at the garage where he and Peter worked. When Robby, the boss, answered the phone, I disguised my voice and said, "Please get Bruce, this is Marybeth." Bruce got on the phone and I said, "Don't look surprised, it's me, I have to split on Peter. I'm so unhappy with him. Can you lend me two hundred for the bus back East?"  He paused for a second then said, “Yeah, sure.” He said he would phone Marybeth right away and tell her to give it to me out of the cash she kept at her vintage clothing store on Grant Street.

When I got to Marybeth's shop she gave me the money in a twenties' Whiting and Davis gold mesh cocktail wallet. "Good luck," she said and kissed me. I felt so guilty for coveting Bruce. She 'd always been a pal.

When I told Peter, at first he didn't believe me. "But you seemed so happy Babe," he said. He kept asking me what he had done wrong. He even got down on his knees and begged me to stay. We spent a terrible night curled away from each other on the bed, neither of us able to sleep. In the morning he begged me again. I ran into the bathroom and locked the door. When I heard him leave for work. I put on my tie-dyed orange dress, purple suede jacket and my cowboy boots. I gathered up the rest of my things, put them in shopping bags outside by the garbage. I put my journal in my knapsack and headed for the bus station.

When I got back to New York, I stayed with my friend Harriet, got a job at Max's Kansas City waiting tables and saved my money. I found a small, funky apartment in Brooklyn on the East River with a view of the Statue of Liberty. As soon as I got a phone I called Bruce and told him I was doing OK , would be sending the money I owed him. He told me to have fun and hang tough.

I settled into my new apartment and started to write bad poetry about the ambiguity of love. I went on the pill, had a few not enjoyable fucks with a very abstract expressionist, met a struggling actor named Axel who loved to give me head. One night Bruce called to tell me he and Marybeth were splitting up. She had turned her store into a coffee shop and was spending so much time there he never saw her. He said he was getting involved with a French ballerina he met when she lost control of her car on the Golden Gate bridge and skidded into his van. I wished him good luck, told him I'd send him some of my poems.

Across the country people were gathering in protest of the Vietnamese war. I went to peace marches, embroidered Make Love not War on the back of my dungaree jacket. I broke up with Axel, despite his miraculous tongue, because he thought art should have nothing to do with politics. Another war broke out between the Arabs and the Israelis, then the riots started in Watts. I met a black poet named Nat at a poetry reading. After we had sex he liked to read to me from Ralph Ellision's "Invisible Man".  He would get angry when I fell asleep while he was reading.

Bruce called to say his sister Sarah was getting married to her dentist in New Jersey. He

She spent a week cleaning her apartment, scrubbing the floors, washing the windows

would be coming East for the wedding and he asked if he could he stay at my place. I said sure, great, of course.

I spent the week before his visit cleaning my apartment. I scrubbed the floors, washed the windows till the glass sparkled.  I was looking out the window and when I saw his van pull up. He had painted it striped black and yellow because he was born in the Year of the Tiger. I watched him park and pull a big duffel out of the trunk.

I was so happy to see him. I ran down the stairs and flung open the door. He filled the door frame. I had forgotten the size of him. He put down the duffel, grabbed me up and whirled me around. I was shaking from joy and fear combined.

"Show me your new estate," he said. He picked up the duffel and I led him upstairs to my two rooms.  He looked around. "Neat," he said.

"Put your stuff in the other room," I told him, " I got you a sleeping bag I borrowed from my neighbors." My voice suddenly semed to have gotten three octaves higher.

"I'm making tea," I heard myself say in my new, squeaky voice as he put his bag in the bedroom. He came back and sat down at my kitchen table. He was watching me as I put up the water.

"You still got it, kid" he said, "you look great in that red dress." I felt intensely pleased. I didn't tell him I had combed every thrift shop in Brooklyn to find that dress. I suddenly realized that I had been acting as if Bruce was my lover back from three months at sea or a little business trip to Mexico. That thought embarrassed me and I felt myself blushning. To divert attention from myself  I asked him, "What happened with you and Marybeth and where is this French ballerina?"

He took his Marlboro pack and his lighter out of his shirt pocket. From the pack he extracted a thick joint. He lit it, took a drag and passed it to me. "Why is your face so red?” he said, "but you know, you always looked so pretty to me". Then he told me he didn't really know why it went bad with Marybeth. Maybe it was all the time she spent at her shop or maybe they had just learned all they needed to know from each other. As for the  French ballerina, her name was Minette. Their romance had lasted three weeks. She was treating him to dinner at a fancy, restaurant on Nob Hill.

"I was wearing my blue zoot suit, you know, the silk suit Marybeth got me,”he said. “Everything was going O.K. She ordered champagne and made a toast to me. ‘I am excited by the big men,’ was what she said. When the waiter came for our order, she ordered boeuf bourgogne.  When I said I would have the filet mignon she said, ‘But cheri, I thought you do not eat the red meat, you are a partial vegetarian, no?’

“When I answered,” Bruce said, "’Why, isn't filet mignon a fish?’ she got all upset. ‘I thought you were sophisticated, un homme cultivée,’ she said.

While he was telling me this, Bruce started to laugh. "Un homme cultivée, not me" he said and I laughed too. We passed the joint around some more and then I told him about Nat reading aloud from The Invisible Man. Then as naturally as if we had always been together Bruce's hand was on my knee. I moved to sit across his lap, my arms went around his neck. We kissed and it was sweet and light and hot all at once.

Nothing needed to be said. He carried me into the other room and placed me on the bed.  He took off his shirt, kicked off his sandals, pulled down his jeans and stepped out of them. He wore no underwear. In my imagination I had given him a giant, fat cock, but his cock was long and thin, a veiny rope reaching half way to his knees. His balls were huge and covered with hair. I put my head up and licked them, cupped one with my tongue, sucked at it, tried to swallow it down. Bruce sighed with pleasure, my woolly bear. I worked his balls while I teased his cock with my hands until it grew so big I thought it might explode but then he stepped back from me.

 He ripped my dress off over my head, then he lowered himself on top of me. We were skin to skin, my breasts crushed flat beneath him. He put his big hand between us and started to tug at my nipple, his cock hot against my belly. Even though I had washed that morning, I could smell myself. I smelled pungent and rank as though I had not wiped my bum. This excited me even more. I wanted him to get dirty with me and he must have read my mind because then he put his hand under my bottom and his fingers found my ass crack and started to play there. I thought of the magazines I had found under the window seat, the picture of the woman with the shit on her face. I wanted Bruce to put his hand up my asshole  and then mark my face with what he found there, but before I could tell him he reached between my legs. He put his big thumb up my ass and the other fingers into me.

He wore me like a glove. He raised his head from mine and, watching my face, fucked me hard with his hand. I had never been so hot or felt such galloping pleasure. This must be ecstasy, I thought, but then something strange happened.

Bruce's handsome face, smiling above me, became softer. His jaw shortened, his fine, straight nose became smaller and more delicate. His thick, black eyebrows thinned out into two graceful arches and his eyelashes grew longer, thick and curly. In the space of a minute, he had become feminized. He looked exactly like his mother, my Aunt Mildred.

He took his hand out of me and held it up. It glistened with my juices. He licked his fingers, his palm and smiled down at me looking exactly like my Aunt when she was about to give me a present. The waves of pleasure between my legs began to ebb away. As he entered me I closed my eyes. I tried to visualize his big, snaky cock sliding in and out of my snatch but all I could see was my Aunt's beautiful smile. I moved my body up to meet his, gripped him inside me hard. I tried jerking him off with my pussy so he'd come quickly and, to my surprise, he did.  I felt him shoot into me but somehow his orgasm did not have much stregnth and then without a sound he pulled out. He rolled over on his back, put a hand out to rest on my breast.  After a while I opened my eyes to find him looking at me. He was Bruce again but he looked perplexed, sad and unhappy

"What's the matter?" I asked him.

"You know, "he said," when I making love to you, when I was inside you, you looked so much like your mother I didn't know if I could go through with it. I had to close my eyes and imagine Raquel Welsh was sucking me off".

"I kept seeing your mother’s face," I told him, “You looked exactly like her.”

“Thanks a lot,” Bruce said. He reached into the pocket of his shirt which was piled on the floor, took out his cigarette pack and extracted another J. We smoked in companionable silence, then we drifted off to sleep.

Bruce stayed a week. We visited my friends. We went to Coney Island, rode the cyclone, ate hot dogs and knishes. At night we slept together in my bed. Sometimes in the mornings we woke up hugging but we never took it further.

At the end of the week we drove to Sarah's wedding in New Jersey in the tiger-striped van.  We danced several dances together. When we did the cha-cha, the other dancers stopped dancing and stood around us and clapped. When the band quit for a break, we went back to our table and sat down. My mother, who considered herself the wit in the family, said, "You two looked so good dancing, maybe you  should get married."  Everyone at the table laughed but Bruce and I did not join in.   ##  



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