Catalina waits for Arturo to come,
she has been prepared, told how
to lay and what to expect (to a
degree) and to wait and be ready.
Her attendants have left after
much fussing and tidying and
words of advice. She lies on
the four poster bed, the hard
mattress beneath her, white
overstuffed pillows, staring at
her feet, wiggling her toes,
scratching her nose. She hears
voices, the door opens and he
comes in followed by others,
he looks at her shyly, looks
away, his friends whisper,
make suggestions, he laughs,
they guffaw, then seeing it's
time to go they make their
farewells, and leave the room,
closing the door behind them
with a click. She looks at him,
thin, tall, pale as moonlight,
clean shaven with his mop
of dark hair, standing there.
He looks at her lying on the
bed, hair dressed just so,
nightgown open at her soft
neck, small breasts just visible,
her hands together as if
about to pray. What to say?
He coughs, taps his hairless
chest. She smiles and taps the
place beside her on the bed,
her slim fingers childlike in
their smallness, ringed, his
wedding ring on the finger
next to another gold one of
smaller size. He climbs into
bed, senses the hard base,
his buttocks supported, his
heels feeling the silk sheet.
She mouths words, he doesn’t
hear, she smiles, hopes, waits.
He studies her eyes, her lips,
the thin brows, the parted hair.
She gently pulls him to her,
he allows her to move him
nearer, feels her hand upon
his wrist, her other upon his
narrow back. He settles uneasy
between her thighs, she opens
to him like a flower, he hesitates,
hands either side of her head,
staring at her eyes, the sparkle,
candle light bright there. She
waits, her buttocks warm against
the silk, sees his eyes sponge
like soak her in, but he stiffens,
becomes arched, looks away,
closes his eyes. She waits,
nothing stirs, his breathing
deepens, his eyebrows rise,
his lips mouth sounds, he
makes motion, coughs, moves
off, lies still stares at the curtains
about the bed, the colour in
the candle’s light. She folds her
legs together, her knees touching,
waiting, gazes at him sideways on,
his profile, pale, his eyes shut tight.
No sex with him, she thinks, no
consummation, the marriage bed
unfed, no virgin bleed, no red rose
plucked, untoched, unfucked.
Then he ups and runs out
the door which closes with a click.
She lays there, her knees bent,
her hands at her sides, her small
breasts soften, relax, her eyes stare,
her ears sharp for sounds, none
but whispers from behind the door,
coughs, splutters, soft conversation.
Was that it? they whisper, was that
the consummation? She lies silent,
unused, unloved or was it just too
much, too soon? She sighs, gazing
at the sky and coin like moon.
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