Sûrah XVI
"Woeful indeed will be the lodging of the arrogant."


If I
deprived of sight
with only fingertips for feelers
were to read her like a blind man reads his Bible
brushing Braille
discerning kinks and knots and sore spots
through an erudite dexterity
tapping truths with lain-on palms
deducing confidential cares
and well-kept secrets
thereby privy to
—by dint of canny contact—
who she is and was and will be
what incomparable biography would infuse my roaming hands?

Franchone, inspired by having lulled his supine guest into semi-slumber, takes up pad and pen to capture cogent, transcendental words (before subverted by his hyperactive sex drive).

hers is the aura of an angel dispossessed
who must have fallen
from her social set's good graces
cast out like Lucifer for contending
with an All-or-Nothing Power
good and evil co-conspirators
in her misbegotten fight
condemned to rule within a realm
where men
where women
suffer choice
and none can circumvent a star-crossed double-nature

Thus disarmed (the would-be weapon gently lifted from her acquiescent grasp, its cap and ballpoint put to less defensive purpose), Z enjoys a respite from her pins-and-needles vigilance, safe (it would appear) from sexual harassment.

Banished Queen
the hive is buzzing
with the mishap of your absence
drones dispatched
enjoined to find you
or—if failing—to expire
their function futile
once deprived of inbred servitude
rote allegiance;
whether ruled by your benevolence
or malevolence
verve resigns
when they, your subjects
are by you, their Liege

1. I sense looseness at my waist.

2. Perhaps my belt has lost its buckle.

3. Or my zipper is unzipped; there is much air about my loins.

4. There is much fear within my heart. I needs must wake; there will be pain! There will be sneers and base guffaws.

5. Humiliation! I am sleeping.

6. I am dreaming that my clothes are being peeled, turned inside out, my skirt and stockings.

7. Now my panties!

8. Dreaming; none of this is real: my blouse undone, my bra pushed upward, like a bib below my chin.

9. Warm breath. No hurting! Do not harm; I must awaken!

10. I must not. For it is only a sirocco.

11. Hot and arid. No; too humid. Wet!

12. I scream.

13. Without a sound.

14. So it is true; I am deluded? Something fleshy strokes my nipple. Like a tongue of liquid heat.

15. A pair of lips, I think, encloses.

16. I give suck.

17. Yet I am wary; lips frame mouths, and mouths house teeth, and teeth start nibbling.

18. Do not bite!

19. But these are tame, and now enhance the hungry suckling that connects my breast to groin as if connected by a string.

20. Which cannot be. My sex is dead. The Sword of Allah seared and slew it. No sensation; this is sham, the way a pulled tooth sometimes smarts well past extraction. Still, it tugs.

21. It is my left breast that elongates from an analgesic nursing. Sounds like soughing, wind through leaves, or distant babbling from a brook, are growing fainter.

22. Shifting farther, lower.


24. I must awaken; this is scandalous!

25. This is villainous!

26. I protest!

27. Except my shrieks go unacknowledged; they escape my voice box mute.

28. And now the liquid heat has found my ugly wound, my cries unheeded. If I force my eyes to open, my damnation is assured.

29. Allah, forgive me! I am sound asleep and own not what I suffer. It is awful, this apostasy!

30. I am blushing.

31. Cease!

32. For shame! He breaks his promise.

33. How deceitful!

34. If his cheeks are rough between my thighs, I know it not.

35. I sleep.

36. His serpent's tongue can flick a thousand times, his spongy kisses trespass; I am numb. I cannot feel nor bear the blame for what...

37. He stops?

38. The pad beneath us takes on dents in different places.

39. I am aching. In my private parts, I mean, which are inured except to guilt.

40. Could this distress be disappointment?

41. Do I long for more abuses?

42. Am I any less a wanton with my eyes commanded shut?

43. Then they must open.

44. Wait! His breath returns, makes gooseflesh on my belly.

45. I am cradled, from below, each hip supported by a hand.

46. Oh! This I almost felt—as happened once when Homa, with her fingers, roused such pleasureful contractions I was rapt, transported, lost.

47. He stops again?

48. How can I gauge the impropriety done to tissue stabbed insensate? I must surely be imagining, therefore blameless while sustaining what can only be described as moral turpitude.

49. No; not yet!

50. Again he pauses, stems the tide of my contemptible secretions.

51. It is torture when he sips them like a puppy lapping milk.

52. I am embarrassed by the quantity, and bewildered by the quivers.

53. Trembling lips meet trembling lips; his kiss is flush, and plush, and fond.

54. Oh! I am entered.

55. Now abandoned.

56. Entered hard, and also deeply.

57. How can someone's tongue extend so far and feel so firm, so large? Or are my insides so constricted that a breach of any size would cause these spasms that I cannot quell?

58. This bliss I should renounce... the while he feeds on me, this incubus, drinks his fill.

59. My flow subsides.

60. And I am left bereft of all save vulgar satisfaction.



Z—alone—awakens, fully clothed.