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Taking the Stud Home Katherine wears fox -not mink- buys a fifth round for herself and Mr. Half-Her-Age. She looks ten years younger in barroom darkness. Later in her dim kitchen they drink gin and talk about her dead husband -keep their voices down, so not to wake her boy upstairs. Katherine, call-me-Kate, says she answers phones in an office; sucks a little more gin, eyes his body, slides a hand along his shoulder- firm 21 years old, aches to wrap herself in his smooth skin. her hand- shadows of pain, time measured in wrinkles- feels his bone and muscle; warm, so warm. She is too thin. Frail months without appetite and now real hunger pangs near her heart. Kate fears her ghost husband watches, neck bent in shame. Another gin, more conversation, mild laughter, forget the dead judgment. She knows he thinks he's a stud to seduce her --doesn't matter-- inside she nods to her needs. Bottle finished, chairs skid linoleum, hand takes hand, stagger the stairs to fight the empty bed for a night.
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