Preparation is key. Smooth shaven cheeks and chin, soft and silky, sliding over my body, nuzzling my throat and pressed against my beating heart. Against my belly. Against my thighs. My legs, smooth and satiny, waiting for a touch to open like the petals of a flower. My flower.

When did it begin to wilt?

Daily preparation eases into a less rigid schedule. Sandpapery chin rasps and burns, tender caresses turn to obligatory gropes that startle more than they scintillate. Pretend. A world of make-believe passion; he pretends to want me and I pretend to be satisfied.

Weekly obligation slides into a monthly chore; stubbly cheeks that scratch at my neck, perfunctory function that has become more an exercise than an adventure, a grunting stab that's finished almost before it's begun. No more than a release and then sleep. Satisfaction isn't an issue any more.

And I find that I'm relieved.

Preparation is key.

fiction non-fiction poetry art sounds