Big Bridge #10

Export: Writing the Midwest


Charles P. Ries


Sex for Liver

It was the cosmic glue of our love. The outward
expression of my inability to be romantic. We
transcended irritation, bad weather and snow
storms locked securely in our love capsule.
Until the day her anti-depressant kicked-in.
Until the day a posse of post depression Greek
sex bandits named Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac and
Zoloft rode down the middle our bed and blew
up our love nest.

Seeking the balance that medication brought her,
but wanting the pleasures of intimacy, she searched
for the right pharmaceutical drug. Promising sex,
with only the side effect of liver damage or death
(only one of every 250,000 actually die), she came
upon Serzone.

"Yes, but what if it kills you? Or ruins your liver?"
Maybe my desires, my passions would kill her?

Shed already given up drugs (at least the illegal ones)
and alcohol too. She had surrendered her anxiety
disorder and depression to popular medication, but
chanted "God damn it, Im not giving up sex!"

I loved her perverse sense of justice. It wasnt based
on logic, but rather on passion. "Well, as long as its
going to wreck your liver, why not just start drinking again?"

"No, Im staying sober." Again her perverse logic.
The unpredictable universe between her ears.
The broadest canvas a writer could hope to find.
She was better than my fiction. I awed at the vistas
I saw in her. The river of tears that coursed through
her sleepless sexless nights as she clung to a life that
had gone ipso-flipso.

She knew what she was willing to sacrifice.
We knew what we had to do, and that night
had liver and onions before going to bed early
in order to get a few extra rounds in. It seemed
like the only holistic, symbolic, metaphoric thing
to do. We traded sex for liver in the name of love.


I Love

Your grilled cheese sandwiches under
the full March moon, as Jupiter draws
near and we witness its unblinking eye
hovering above the horizon at early dusk.

The way your lip is slightly twisted upward
at one corner making your mouth look like
an irregular right triangle.

Your explanation for washing your bed
sheets three times a week, "dust mites."

Your mantric complaint about how hard it is
to dress well at 20 below zero in the midst of
a blizzard. Yet refusing to compromise for
the sake of warmth instead sludging, steadfast,
like an Armani foot soldier through road salt,
snow drifts and sleet. Saying, "some things
will not be compromised!"

Your method of slowly moving, methodically
passing through the house...dusting, resetting
souvenirs, just so. You, the feng shui master
of knickknacks and fashion magazines, creating
a perfect order in the universe of our life.

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