Lexicon of Foreign Love

by Alina Stefanescu

FROM: Short Lessons for Illegal Immigrants

The song says blood sugar sex magic, but you will not know what this means if a man sings the lyrics while driving across town. If you go to his apartment. If there is a pet cat who winds round your calves like smoke. If he expects you to touch it and smile. If the expectation includes purring.

You need to know the words mean something. If he expects it. And then—the cat, the half-tidy apartment, the dark velour couch. Fuck is all of one flavor, heavy on consonants, the final edge of forked blade. If you lay down, fuck is a gauntlet. The screw is mechanical and uninspired. A question of technique. The lay is forgotten, left where it began in the act of laying down but foreclosing the fuck. The lay is the fuck’s denied staging. You can sleep straight through it.

Alina Stefanescu lives in Tuscaloosa with her partner and four native mammal species. She wasn’t “borned here”. Her story, “White Tennis Shoes”, won the 2015 Ryan R. Gibbs Flash Fiction Award. She is thrilled about “Objects In Vases”, a poetry chapbook (Anchor & Plume, 2016). You can read her poetry and prose in current issues of PoemMemoirStoryTinge MagazineJellyfish ReviewNew Delta Review, and others. More online at www.alinastefanescu.com.

Photo by: Ana Prundaru