Copyright © 2002. All rights reserved.
I who have stood since the time of the great cedars. Those tall giants, straight and strong, were cut for ships. I who raise my arms like a cripple begging the sun, my skin bursts in spring with scented lips. Come summer, I unfurl lime hearts to cool the earth.
I remember her. She was a villager fleeing up the hill to escape the smoke and shelling. She helped a man climb with her until he could not step higher, and she took him to my shade.
She was determined but weary, small for her age, young for her lessons. She whispered to herself as she lay her charge before me. Her words were prayers and curses. She spoke aloud only encouragement to the man as she knelt over him. She trembled, hoping he did not notice her tremors.
Grief and injury tumbled in turmoil beneath his head scarf. Relief and regret broke through as the woman tended his wounds. His humble cloth glistened with blood. Flies landed on it and nourished themselves. He shouted passion, delirious sympathy and desire overwhelmed him. He loved her. He wanted her. She assured him. She loved him. She wanted him. She wept.
Through my leaves, the man looked toward his god for mercy. Warm light sprinkled upon him. The woman bathed his forehead with water from a plastic jug. Removing the scarf was forbidden to her. Rivulets, pink like the petals of my spring, washed into the soil.
A calm took him and his eyes were clear. He reached out and grasp the hem of the woman's robe. He tugged it free from her knees. He shuddered and coughed with the last of his strength. His arm fell back.
She did not speak. She obeyed. She took his hand to her breast and kissed his skin. She tasted the burnt propellant splashed upon it. She opened the top of her robe, removed her arms from its sleeves, and placed his palm upon a bare nipple. She grunted when her soft flesh was forcefully gripped by his fingers. Fear shouted through them.
The man raised his head for a moment. His mouth would have expressed the plea that filled his eyes but another fit took his frame. Coughing and flailing, his body kicked stones and twigs across the hillside, but the woman did not flinch when his fingers cut into her tit.
His hand fell away and his breath was short. "My son." He whispered. "Give me my son." His eyes emptied their desire at her.
Her hands did not doubt. She opened his trousers and freed him. His manhood was dark and struggling for strength. Passion wrestled blood away from his wounds. She kissed his dry lips and held him. She must not delay. She did not hesitate. She rose to a crouch and lifted robe to waist. Her hands swiftly removed her undergarment and she stepped across his loins. There was no time to untie her sash. She lowered himself upon the dying man, but he did not penetrate.
.... There is more of this story ...