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“Thwack!” Abigail, a master’s student in the USC Women’s Studies Department, battered her girlfriend about the clitoris with a hardbound first edition of Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, and waited for her moan. But Sibil, a doctoral candidate in the same department, just lay there, impassive and unmoving. Abigail felt her heart sink. Months earlier a blow that deftly delivered – a text that expertly chosen – would have driven Sibil to the very edge of ecstasy. And now? Nothing.

“What is wrong with you?!” Abigail cried, jowls flapping. “You’re not present when we talk. You’re not present when we make love.” She was shrieking now. “I miss you, Sibil! I miss us!”

Sweat was pooling on Abigail’s moustache. “Are you seeing another womon? Are there other wymyn in your life!?”

She watched Sibil turn away, and start to rise from the bed, but in desperation Abigail flung her lover down and reached towards the books on the nightstand. The New Our Bodies, Ourselves? It had heft, it was copiously illustrated. But Sula was thinner, hardbound, and surely had a keener slicing power. The New Our Bodies, Ourselves? Sula? The New Our Bodies, Ourselves? Sula? bell hooks’s Sisters of the Yam? Why did love have to be so sad?

Date Written: March 23, 2004
Author: Craig Lewis
Average Vote: 5

03/25/2004 Craig Lewis: What I especially appreciate about Lewis's depiction of these Sapphist amants is the way his Flaubertian rigor -- his dogged pursuit of le mot juste -- enlivens what might otherwise have been little more than a one-joke tableau vivant.
03/25/2004 scoop (5): Not as good as Snow, but Brilliant!
03/25/2004 John Slocum (5): Extremely funny. How do you pronounce 'Womon?'
03/25/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum: Abigail, do you hold my heart in the palm of your hand, and can you understand why I can't stay?
03/4/2005 deliciousbrains (5): My clit just went into hiding.