3 May 2005, 3:10am
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Möbius Strip: Love Sex Food Death

by Denise Duhamel

                                    Nick
said, “Don’t worry, I won’t
ever die on you, OK?”
and for a second I
believed him.      My
cinnamon angel, his soft
eyebrows folding in
sleep.      My thighs
sticking together, a white
icing between.      A
village near Kashmir
called Hunza is supposedly
the closest thing on earth
to the fountain of youth–
no one born there gets a
cavity or heart attack.
People, on average, live
to one hundred.      The
stems of sunflowers, like
pogo sticks, rising out of
the ground.      I
wanted Nick to have that
power, to make a pact
with the universe to die
second, to be a gentleman
about death.      Hunza
is on a high mountain, the
sea level perfect for breathing
and hard for Hunza enemies
to get to.      His scalp
smells sweet, a mixture of
cave and sea foam.      Water
was still running from the
faucet when Will found Pearl,
hip to bathroom tile, a
shattered glass at her breast.
Though she was dead, he
sniffed lilac soap in the air.
Her lips were sticky with
newly applied maroon
lipstick.      We ate red
bean buns on Canal Street,
fire-hydrant waters spraying
the children and glistening
gray fish that stunk up
entire blocks.      ”Pearl
never smelled dead,” Will
kept saying.      Once
in Chinatown I ordered
sea cucumber (not
a vegetable) by mistake–
chunks of fatty sea slugs I
couldn’t contemplate
swallowing.      Today
Nick ordered Pho-Beef. I
said I wished he’d ordered
Po beef so that I could
order Tinky Winky Shrimp
or La La with fried rice.
We both agreed on our love
of The Teletubbies–the
show that is like an acid
trip, everything in slow
motion, everything
done twice, that freaky
sun with a giggling baby
face.      Sometimes I
ovulate mansions and
magic.      Nick and I
were talking about this
the other day–what
we’d do if we ever went
blind.      Nick and I
don’t usually agree on
food.      I thought
about teaching Nick
how to put on my lipstick,
now while I can still
see.      In Miami
we heard a radio
announcement for
cochinillo asado that
guaranteed the piglets sold
were younger than twenty-four
days which made me
really sad though Nick,
who’s had cochinillo
asado
, was saying yum
yum
.      I’d just
read about the woman
whose surgeon sliced
off her entire eyelid
during a botched face
lift so now she can’t
blink.      She softened
and crumbled, like a
cruller dipped in coffee
too long.      After
he came, his moon
belly glowing, his navel
grew dark as though I’d
just plucked a fruit stem
from it.      The bananas
were as ready as we
were, bright peaches
bristling, the green insides
and outs of kiwi and
lime.      You sudsed
the hollow under my
arm.      We both
confessed to the irrational
fear of having our hands
cut off.      Our first
apartment smelled of
curry, a yellow pollen
dusting the sink and
drawers.      My
favorite lunch ever was
grilled cheese and a teaberry
milkshake.      You
shampooed my hair
twice.      When I
worked in the supermarket,
there was a customer
without hands who could
lift ten pounds of potatoes
with a silver hook he’d
maneuver through the
bag’s red mesh.      I was
always afraid the hook
would twist off.      I was
afraid to see his stub, afraid
I’d have to bend to the
floor to pick up that metal
question mark.