carried between them, Sophie and Sophia cross the
threshold of Nana’s sumptuous parlour, their bearing
both deferential and imbued with understated
mischief. Sparsely clad, their adolescence
shimmers—where fabric yields to flesh. Solemn in
their service, they flirt nonetheless with
post-pubescent cheek, while Turkish coffee issues
from the spigot like a stream of molten coke—thick,
narcotic, seductively aromatic as it fills a
porcelain demitasse, transferred hand to hand, to
anoint impatient lips, staining gums, tongue, and
gullet with the insolence of an oil spill.
Nana, keenly aware of being bracketed by the twosome poised like tactile
bookends, left to right, on her divan, notes affectations intended to distract (?), to signal tandem
hankerings (?), to suggest, with risqué hints, variations
on an act they jointly crave (?), for surely the teenage siblings have long-ago
given up thumb sucking, yet these two mouth their digits like hungry babes-in-arms.
Or like wantons simulating fellatio—the naughty double entendre each no doubt implies.
Waving them away with a flick of her upraised hand, Nana elects to
indulge in caffeine intake solely. Not that she is offended by her servants’
craven appetites; theirs, like hers, have been groomed for 'misbehavior'—as judged by
the prudish world-at-large. Their world, on the other hand, cloistered and remote, applies a
Brigham And Women’s
Hospital might as well have been on Mars the day that Alexandra Albright, by
Caesarean section, vented me—genetic alien
unfledged cuckoo that I was upon arrival. Shock, then consternation
must have preceded ultimate hardheartedness;
responses to my delivery surely flabbergasted
parents in particular;
I was not their daughter’s offspring.
Therefore, neither could I be theirs. So I
was awarded to the State—though
Massachusetts also did not want me. Children
born "deformed" presented special problems
with regard to adoptability. Science, on
the other hand, was eager to inherit that
which foster parents spurned.
Committed to determining what I was—from
whom and whence were problematic issues set aside—assorted specialists
earmarked me for studies unlimited.
redeemer, in the form of Sheikh Hadithah,
who, by proxy (and strategic distribution of
cold hard cash) arranged my timely
from unremitting inquiry.
That was six birthdays
ago, by the
Gregorian calendar, making me of primary school age, technically. Whereas actually I'm
of post-graduate age and have
earned an MFA in Sculpture, with
a minor in Aesthetics, my coursework, for
the most part, done and submitted from off-campus sites remote.