By Jeffrey Carr

Scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.

She had the nails to do it too. Nails that could scrape wood without chipping. Nails that gouged deep and incessantly, desperately, like she was looking for something.

She usually didn’t want me to return the favor. My nails were cut short, very short. Too short. So short that nail and skin were hardly discerned. Dull skin scratches weren’t the same as the sharp scratches of nails. Rubbing was a pleasure for other places. She was limber enough to scratch where she pleased anyway. I couldn’t bend or flex to scratch in those hard to reach places.

She should have been a cat. She had the soft lilting eyes to match, the easy movement, and the claw-like nails to scratch, scratch, scratch me to painful oblivion.

Sex was an adventure of pleasure and pain. My back, I am sure, was riddled with marks. Funny thing is that the scabs would itch and were always just out of reach. It could take months to heal. Scratch, scratch.

Days at the beach were hard. How would I explain the long red welts over the old grayed reminders? I’d be the odd man out, the one wearing a t-shirt.

Yet I lived and loved. She just loved me to pieces.


Jeffrey Carr is an artist, musician, and writer from Fairport, NY, just off the Erie Canal.

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