David Bule (A Lippogram)

Jennifer Spruit

He has been dead thirteen and a half days. My him, my flame, my eager breathlessness. I can cry, but it is all ineffective rage. What I want, what I need, is a sultry embrace. Entwined in fever pitch, warm arms encircling bare flesh. It is an absurd reality: I am a dewy minx, unfettered and pumped full with inclement lymph. I am disturbed by this lust, this calming and familiar appetite. It is dreadfully unladylike.


I remember him in this way: I call him up in my head, painting every feature with my mind’s eye. If I cease this ritual, he will surely disappear. A scar shaped like a puck hides under shaggy-hay hair. There are his arms: his guns, muscles that lifted and carried bags, fishing tackle, me. His eyes were swirls that alternated blue and green. I see his fuzzy legs. He wanted them bare all the time; anything but full-length pants. I murmur, and it’s destructive. It’s as if I am gnawing my leg apart. I ache here by myself, unattended in an empty place.


Being apart shreds me. I lay nude, unbridled and sexless. I try and fail with the sunlight dripping every which way. I try a whisper, a purr, a faint and husky breath. Laughable, really, as if neural pathways have been silenced. I want that sigh, that deep and reverberating lament. All I need is a single letter.

I am mute, all sewn up with silence. He is ashes, and I am denied the cadence we shared. I rumble deep inside, pursing and widening my lips. It is desperate:


ah / ung / mah / vull

ind / uhf / raw / nuang / duvv


This is all I have left: inarticulate desire, remembered and yet unutterable.