(Copyright 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)



[Tsaurah Litzky is a poet and writer of fiction, non fiction and erotica. We call her America's queen of erotic literature. Susie Bright, editor of the yearly Best American Erotica books, calls her "Miss Dirty Stories." Tsaurah's work has appeared in Best American Erotica 95, 97, 99, 2001 and will be included in BAE 2002. She has also been published in Penthouse, LONGSHOT, The Unbearables, Crimes of the Beats, Appearances, Downtown Poets, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, Pink Pages, Beet and many other books and periodicals. Her poetry books include Kamikaze Lover (Appearances 1999) and the recently published Good Bye Beautiful Mother (Low Tech Press 2001). Formerly a columnist for the now defunct New York arts weekly Downtown, she now teaches erotic writing and literature at the New School University. ]

"Angel, Angel, where are you?? Jim yelled as he burst into the house through the front door.

"In here, in the kitchen," I called back.

I had been sitting at the table writing in my journal about the Mylai massacre. If I was back in New York I would have been marching down Fifth Avenue chanting, 'stop the war, end the war in Vietnam now!"

I was smoking a Camel cigarette, the ashtray in front of me was piled with butts. I smoked three times as much as usual when he was out fishing, When he was away I still needed to suck and hold, still needed to fill my fingers the way I did with his cock. When he was on shore I would fall asleep holding it while he held me tucked in the right angle of his arm.

He rushed into the room, his face radiant and flushed from the winter cold, his grin was even broader than usual.

"It's finally happened, Angel. Joe Silva invited us for dinner, for tomorrow night with him and Francesca."

The Little Savior was the best fishing boat in P-town. When the men on the other boats make one thousand dollars for a ten-day trip, the men on the Little Savior made eighteen hundred. Joe Silva was the hardest driving, most daring, meanest, toughest devil on the water. If he caught you just once drinking or drugging, you were out. Competition for a permanent position on his boat was fierce. Most probationers got canned after a couple of cold winter trips. When he invited you to dinner at the big, old Silva family house on Standish Street, it was like King Arthur inviting you to join the round table. You were royalty, you were in.

"Wahoo," yelled Jim, "and I've only been on the Little Savior for six months, it usually takes at least a year to get an invitation like this. It's because I love to work in the cold weather. Waa-hoo," he yelled again.

His arms were filled with a giant, black, plastic bag that I knew held lobsters. They were always getting caught in the rake when they were dragging for scallops. Jim told me the guys got sick of eating them but I could never get enough. The bag was wet and smelled of seaweed and fish slime. From the movement in the bag, there must have been eight or ten lobsters inside, their frantic claws grasping for hold, just like the young fisherman on the boat. Jim threw the bag down on the table smack dab right on top of my journal.

"Oops," I cried out sharply, and pulled the journal out from under the bag. "Look what you're doing, watch it, you got my journal all wet," I complained but I wasn't angry and he knew it. He just knelt down, scooped me up in his arms like I was a bag of lobsters and carried me upstairs to our bed.

His wool jacket was damp and covered with fish scales. They were on my cheek, in my hair, bony little kisses. He threw me right on top of the orange Indian bedspread imprinted with the red elephants and started to strip. He kicked off the rubber boots, pulled off his damp jeans, his long johns. I imagined he was King of the sea. His lower body was long, hard and sleek. Blue-green iridescent fins sprouted from his feet. Just below his belly grew the trident of Poseidon. I wanted him to impale me, carry me before him through treacherous oceans on a mighty white horse

Portuguese men
called the pussy
a snapper

made of sea foam. I blinked and there was Jim again, his hairline already receding at twenty-five, his wide grin, made crooked by his overbite. There were his skinny thighs, his knock-knees. Already swimming towards me was his tough little fish, his mighty minnow, his electric eel. He was my Neptune, my Lord of the Sea. He shrugged his jacket off, peeled off his thermal shirt. His shoulders and upper arms were very developed. He'd been a varsity swimmer He dived right on top of me, landing hard, finding my mouth, his ten-day growth of beard scratching my face. His fingers were already unsnapping my jeans, pulling the zipper down, pulling my jeans down to my knees. He did not even take the time to pull them all the way off and he was inside me. I was always wet for him and he slid right into my briny cave. What a supple, sly eel he was, gliding deep into me, so confident of his welcome. I liked to tease him, contracting the muscles of my pussy, catching him tight, then suddenly relaxing those muscles, pulling my hips back, pushing out, expelling him.

In the bars, the Portuguese men called the pussy a snapper. I snapped and snapped at him but he was persistent, undeterred. He quickly glided back in. Each time he dived deeper and deeper, until we were perfectly in sync, swimming through the tumultuous waves, crossing over, finally, to the lake of peace. 

After, I peeled of my clothes and lay beside him, inhaling his wonderful sea stink. He was on his back beside me, one arm across my chest, his hand cupping my breast, his forefinger lazily tracing round my sea anemone nipple. He shifted position, reached out to the night table. He took two cigarettes from the Camel pack that always rested there in the scallop shell ashtray along with a pack of matches. He put the cigarettes in his mouth, lit them, and then handed one to me. He took a few puffs, then put his in the ashtray, leaned back on the pillow, his arms clasped behind his head.

"Listen, Angel," he said, 'tomorrow night, when we go over to Joe's, don't tell him and Francesca about your job. They don't need to know that you work with all those lesbians in the Susan B. Anthony Woman's Help and Health clinic in Truro."

"I don't have to tell them," I heard myself saying to him, suddenly angry. 'this is a small town, everyone knows everyone else's business. You forget I lived here winter and summer two years before I even met you. I'm sure they know all about me. You think they don't know about Chris??

Chris was Jim's younger brother. He was part of a harem of five young men kept by Osh Benzinsky, a famous sculptor and voluptuary, who lived in a huge geodesic dome in the West End.

'sure they know," said Jim "but Chris is different, he's not political. You and your lezzie pals are against President Johnson, against the war, against the American way."

"If you think what Chris is doing is the American way, you must think America is Marrakesh." I said. I had raised my voice and now I went back to my cigarette, puffing furiously. After a while, Jim said, "Enough with the politics, Angel, you know how I love you." And I did know his love, he was so passionate, funny, faithful, but sometimes he was such a jerk. Whenever I tried to talk to him about our responsibilities as citizens of the world I felt like I was talking to a stranger.

"If you love me so much," I said, "you'll accept my comrades, accept what I choose to fight for even if you don't feel the same way."

"Comrades," he said, "now you're a red??

"I'm so red, I'm pink," "I yelled at him.

"If you're so pink," he countered, his voice becoming shrill, "why don't you go back to your girlfriend in New York?  The stripper, what's was her ridiculous name, Rebel Bush??

'that's right? " I said, "Rebel Bush and at least she knew what was important."

"For Christ's sake," Jim was yelling now, "You should be happy for us, If I work a year on the Savior we'll have enough to start building our house."

"Fine,? I said, "and I'll paint Bi-sexual Anarchist Activist on the mail box."

There was no way he could top that and he was smart enough not to try. Soon I heard him snoring. I turned to see that he had turned away from me and was sleeping curled on his side, in the fetal position, the long line of his back as familiar to me as the palm of my hand.

In the morning the first thing he did when he woke up was apologize. "I'm sorry I yelled at you," he said.  I apologized too. "I'm sorry I was so sarcastic," I said, "but what makes you think the Silvas are so straight laced. They?ve lived here their whole lives. This is the town of anything goes, it's a liberal place."

" I dunno," Jim said, "maybe because Joe told me Francesca goes to Mass every day, maybe because he's the president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the Outer Cape, he was in Korea you know."

"I have to be true to myself, you know that, "I told him, "I can't worry about other people's moral judgments. I need to watch my own ass."

"You're right, Angel," Jim said, "and you know what, I need to watch it too. Let's get down, Angel. Let's do it like the dogs do."

"Bow-wow," I said and  I rolled over on my side, raised my hips slightly and lifted my leg.    .

That evening I put on my long denim skirt and my only cashmere sweater, a sedate, pale blue cardigan. Jim wore a navy blue crewneck over a flannel shirt and jeans. He looked like he stepped out of a Norman Rockwell painting and I looked like his mail order bride. We put on our warmest coats and set off down Commercial Street through blustery January winds. He kept his arm around me. We walked past Priscilla Alden Lane which led to the A-House. It was a notorious old gay club but the crowd was always mixed. Louis Armstrong played there, and one weekend a very young Barbara Streisand sang duets there with her then-husband, Eliot Gould.

We walked past Heaton Mitcham's Famous Seafood Restaurant, He hired only gay red headed waitresses. He called them his lobster heads. Then we walked past the VFW Hall. The Monday night bingo games were a big attraction in the winter when most of the bars shut down and the movie theater was open only on weekends.  We proceeded past the Crown and Anchor where every September, the week after Labor Day, the East Coast Miss Transgender contest and masquerade ball was held. In the social life of Provincetown everyone floated around together like carrots, potatoes and linguica in Kale soup.

Jim still had his arm around me as we turned the corner onto Standish Street. "Cap?n's house is third on the right," he said. The big, Victorian house was set well back from the street. The windows were brightly lit, the white lace curtains drawn open to reveal potted plants on the window sills. I could tell that Jim was nervous from how tightly he was now clutching my shoulder.

"Don't worry," I told him, "I'll behave, we're going to have a great time." Jim lifted up the brass mermaid that was the door knocker by the tail and knocked one, two times. The door opened right away and there was Joe Silva.

"Welcome, welcome," he said, beaming out at us. Instead of the plaid flannel shirt that was the

Heavy-set, Silva was
a stocky man, broad as the proverbial brick shithouse

fisherman's uniform on shore, he was wearing a maroon velvet smoking jacket with satin lapels. Around his neck was knotted an elaborate pink and gray paisley cravat. I was surprised, Jim didn't say this was going to be a costume party.

Captain Silva slapped Jim hard on the shoulder, "Come in, come in, you old Cod fish," he said. Then he extended a big, burly hand out towards me. 'so this is your little, big city girl. Remember, my home is your castle, Darlin"." He put his arm around my shoulder and literally pushed me inside. He was heavy-set, a stocky man, broad as the proverbial brick shithouse. He had a close trimmed, short, black beard and the thick, black wiry hair that seemed common to the Portuguese men. He didn't wear it short, close cropped to his head as most of them did. He let it grow long below his shoulders. I had seen him riding around town in his jeep, with it pulled back in a ponytail, but tonight it was down flowing below his shoulders in a curly, unruly mop. His cheekbones were prominent underneath his beard. He had a straight, handsome nose and glistening, intense brown eyes. He looked like the picture of Prince Absalom in the kiddie Bible I had when I was small, Absalom, one of Solomon's sons, was so vain over his long, luxuriant dark hair, that he wouldn't cut it. One day it got caught on a low hanging tree branch when he was out horseback riding and it strangled him. Now Absalom was looking me up and down.

"Put a little meat on you and you'd be a tasty morsel,? he said.

"What?? I replied, startled, "What did you say??

"I think I once met you in the F?ocsle," he answered quickly. Maybe my ears were playing tricks on me, I must be was nervous too.

"I don't recall," I said, "but could be, it's my favorite bar."

"Here, let me take your coats," he said. Ever the solicitous host, he helped me off with my thrift-store, brown mouton coat. Jim handed Joe his parka. Joe put the coats on a coat rack made from the antlers of a deer that was hung on the wall just inside the front door. There was a stunning Persian carpet on the floor in all shades of greens and blues like the ocean. Cap?n noticed me looking at it.

"My wife's great grandfather bought that over from the Azores, part of her dowry, though Frannie has much, much more to recommend her," he said. He looked over my head as he leered and winked at Jim. I felt like recommending he get a brain. I decided I didn't like him but I reminded myself to stay open minded for Jim's sake.

Then the "wife? walked in, "You darlins are right on time," Francesca Silva said. The townies used the word  "darlin? a lot. She had a bold face with heavy features and a slight Dick Powell mustache. Her ample form was squeezed into a pink cocktail dress, decorated with red sequins. The dress was cut very low in front and displayed her big bosoms spilling out to greet us. "You are just the cutest little thing," she said to me, taking my arm. "Come into the living room, kiddies and have some drinks."

I wanted to tell her how wrong it was for a woman to ever call another woman a 'thing? and thus continue to perpetuate the female objectification on which the patriarchy depends. Instead I looked at her enormous cleavage and kept silent. Such mammaries always intimidated me, with their frightening implications of vast lactating capacity, their potential floods of mother love.

Soon Jim and I were sitting side by side on the Silva's green brocade sofa. In our hands we held Francesca's 'special? Cape Codders. Standing in front of the low table stacked with bottles that served as their bar, Francesca had said, "No one makes a Cape Codder like me. My special ingredient, is, I put my pinkie in." She turned her head and looked at us expectantly waiting for us to laugh. I looked down into my cape codder, I was beginning to feel nauseous. Jim managed a slight grin. Joe and Francesca, each holding their special cape codders, seated themselves in matching platform rockers across from us.

'so, you old codfish," Joe asked Jim, "how did you and city gal here get together??

Jim told him it was the result of a bicycle accident on a full moon August night. I was ridding my bicycle home from dancing at Piggy's and I rode down Shankpainter Road right into his mailbox. Jim was sitting in the front room of his rented cottage when he heard the impact. He came out to find me sprawled in the gravel drive. I was crying and moaning, my knees bleeding and pitted with gravel. I was glad that Jim didn't also describe how my purple tie-dye dress was up above my waist showing my matching purple tie-dye panties. He had to pick me up and carry me inside to his bathroom. He told Joe and Francesca how he sat me on he edge of the bathtub and carefully picked the gravel out of my knees with a tweezers.

"Did you bag her that night??  Joe interjected. "Did you give her the old linguica right there on the bathroom floor??

Francesca was sitting on the edge of her chair, wide eyed, looking at Jim expectantly.  Shocked, I was going to tell them it was none of their business but I just changed the subject.

"Your furniture is so beautiful," I chimed up. "Every single piece looks like an antique. Why, those chairs you're sitting in look like they must be at least a hundred years old, are they??

Joe scowled and looked angry, but he managed to answer civilly. "My great grandfather brought them from the minister of the Quaker Church before my grandfather was even born so they are even older than that." I made determined small talk about the furniture until we finished our drinks. Francesca made another round and then she excused herself to serve dinner.         

A few minutes later she called us into the dining room. The oval table was set with a white linen cloth, blue willow china, crystal goblets, shining silverware. At the center of the table, on a Wedgwood platter, was a big, steaming, whole baked fish with potatoes heaped all around it. Joe took his place at the head of the table, Jim and I on either side, Francesca at the foot. She asked us for her plates and served us.

"It smells like heaven," I said when she handed me mine. "Baked finnan haddie with new potatoes," she said, smiling at me sweetly, "my great grandmother Genevieve's recipe."

I decided that her humongous tits had prejudiced me against her and I would try to like her.

There were two bottles of Vinho Verde, the famous white wine of Portugal, on the table. Joe uncorked a bottle and filled our glasses. "Welcome aboard, you two kids," he toasted us. We clinked glasses. "Bottoms up," he said and downed his wine like it was a shot. The finnan haddie was the best fish I ever tasted and I told Francesca so. I knew they had daughters but I didn't see any evidence of children in the house. I asked Francesca about their kids. She told me their Frieda was at BU and Donna was down at Hyannis General studying nursing.

"With the girls out of the house, Cap?n and I can get mighty rambunctious, he's a horny old herring." She smiled across the table at him flirtatiously. There were a few flakes of finnan haddie lodged in her mustache like pearls.

'the Missus got one of them Bermuda Triangles between her legs," Joe said. He made a sucking, kissing sound with his lips and looked over at Jim and winked and leered again. If he was my husband I would have thrown what was left of the finnan haddie at him. Francesca beamed and smiled as if he had just told her that she was more glamorous than Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe combined. Maybe I was being too sensitive, too rigid and doctrinaire, they certainly seemed like a happy pair. Who was I to judge them?

"Can I help you clear the table?? I asked.

"No, No," Francesca, said. " Save your strength, you'll be needing it." I couldn't imagine what she meant.

She took the dishes away and brought in a silver platter that held a bottle of Remy and four brandy snifters. Joe filled our glasses. This time he made a toast to "Our Little Savior family."  Joe laced his fingers under his beard, then looked first at Jim and than at me sternly, like a professor trying to get the attention of his class. I hoped he wasn't going to deliver a lecture about the Bermuda triangle.

"We've come to a very special part of our evening," he said, "Francesca and I have a little ceremony that we cooked up to welcome new crew members." I interrupted him, "What do we do, prick our fingers and exchange blood?? Jim looked at me reprovingly. I realized I was drunk, maybe very drunk. I knew I better try to keep my mouth shut. Joe went on, ignoring my comment. "We come together in a way we'll never forget, and to preserve these festive occasions we make a record on film." I wondered if it was going to be something like a fraternity initiation, if they wanted to paddle our bottoms. I'd never stand for it.

"And now," Joe said, rising, "if you will follow me, you'll see what I mean." Jim stood up and looked at me. He shrugged his shoulders as if to say let's humor him. I got up shrugged my


shoulders back and followed him as he followed Joe out of the room. Francesca was right behind me. She put her arm around my waist like we were teenagers at school. I figured she must be drunk too. Joe led us from the dining room down a short hall, past several closed doors and opened a door at the end of the hallway.

'this is my study as well as the screening room," he said. Four comfortable looking chairs were arraigned in a semi-circle. Behind them stood an eight-millimeter projector on a stand. There was a big, white screen on the opposite wall. Another wall held shelves containing books and a big, glass case with models of clipper ships. On the remaining wall was hanging a door-sized painting of Francesca reclining in the Naked Maja pose. The painter was obviously from the realist school. Francesca did not shave her legs, which were well formed but heavy and too short for her thick body. Her astounding bosom spread out like dough rising between her hairy arms. Her nipples were very dark and perfectly round like Oreo cookies. Her belly was all puffed up like a cruller. She was holding a big scallop shell coyly over her genitals. I was horrified. I stepped closer to Jim and her arm fell from my waist. Francesca sat down in the end armchair.

"Come on, you darlin? kiddies," she said brightly, "you sit on down right next to me."

As we sat down Jim reached over for my hand. Joe took a position behind the camera and pulled the light cord hanging just over his head. The room was plunged into darkness.

"Lights, action, camera," he said.

The film was in color. The first few frames showed Francesca reclining in the Maja pose on a big double bed covered with a beautiful white crocheted spread. The Portuguese women prided themselves on their exquisite crochet work. She was wearing a black mask over the top of her face, like in one of those old stag films from the twenties. Her filmy, pink negligee was so transparent that the dark aureoles of her nipples could be seen as well as the triangle of her pubic thatch. A nude figure entered the frame, also wearing a black mask over the top of his face. A strapping young male, his well-muscled haunches moving smoothly, sleekly, as he strode towards the bed. He reached out and pulled the negligee open. There was a large red bulldog tattooed on his bicep. I recognized it immediately, so did Jim.

I felt him move and his posture stiffen in the seat beside me. 'that's Rusty, that's Rusty Cordeiro," I couldn't stop myself from calling out. Rusty slept in the bunk below Jim's on the Savior.

"Yup," said Joe from behind us. "A few months ago we had Rusty and Dee-Dee up to the house to celebrate him coming aboard just as we are having you good folks over this evening." I watched petrified as Rusty bent his curly head and took one of Francesca's nipples in his mouth. His head moved up and down mechanically as if he was a machine. The camera zoomed in between Francesca's spread legs. Within her dense black bush, her labia were clearly visible, moist and glistening like a hungry mouth. The camera lingered there. As Francesca grew more excited, she started to roll her hips. The lips of her outer labia, pulsing and swollen crimson, moved side to side like the petals of a wild orchid caught in a breeze. The inner labia could be glimpsed deep within, a tiny, exotic blossom with delicate, frilly, purpled lips. Despite myself, this exquisite bloom moved me. I thought of Rebel, how her cunt always smelled like peanuts. Just sucking on her labia, I would come in a few minutes, then, a minute or two later, come again. I was stuck in that moment in time and space by the sticky honey beginning to steep out between my legs. I tried to push these feelings down. I made myself think of the Mylai massacre. I pictured Lieutenant Calley's smug, venial face, but I was really saved when the camera moved up to show Francesca in a fit of pleasure. Her eyes were closed, spittle ran from the sides of her mouth, her head rolled from side to side like a maniac's .

The next frame showed little eighteen year old Dee-Dee seated on the edge of a  bed. She was wearing a simple white bra and white bikini panties. Her face was all twisted up, she looked as if she was about to burst into tears. One pale arm reached out and then, as the camera panned over into the next frame, I saw her little hand holding Joe's fat, swollen cock. He was facing front, grinning at the camera. He had so much dark hair on his chest and legs that he looked like a gorilla. This was more than I could bear.

I jumped up, knocking over my chair. "You think we are going to do stuff like that with you, you are mistaken," I yelled.

"Calm yourself, little lady," Joe said, "pick up your chair and sit yourself right back down."  He made a back-handed motion, swatting at me as if I was a fly.

"I won't sit back down, and I won't trade sex, so Jim can have a job on your stupid boat," I spat out at him.

"Didn't your mama ever teach you that you can trap more flies with honey than with vinegar, darlin???  Francesca piped up. "My Joe doesn't like gals who play hard to get." 

"I don't want to trap flies," I screamed.

"Angel," Jim tried to interject, "Angel? he cried out but I ignored him.

"I don't want to trap flies, ".you're both "awful." I started to move towards the door, but Joe blocked my way. "Don't you know you have to do the right thing for your man? I'm Joe Silva, captain of The Little Savior, best scalloper on the Atlantic from Nova Scotia to Cape May. Who are you to defy me? Stuck-up skinny ass little big city girl, what you need is a real man to show you what's what."

He put his hand up and stroked his long hair back from his face, as if preening for me. I wanted to wind his hair around his neck and strangle him just as Absalom had been strangled.

"You're not a man, you're a travesty," I yelled.                                                     

 'travesty?? Francesca queried, "What does travesty mean, Joey??

"Angel," Jim said again, rising from his chair. 'stop," but there was no stopping me. I pushed past Joe and ran down the hall. There was yelling and noise behind me, but I didn't stay to listen. I grabbed my coat off the antlers and ran out of their damn house without even stopping to put it on. I ran down Standish and turned onto Commercial Street. It was totally quiet except for the sound of my heart beating so hard in my chest it felt like it would break my body in two. Still running, I made myself put my coat on. I felt so ashamed for Rusty and Dee-Dee. How could Jim work for such a terrible man? Not a soul was out on this bitter night. I slowed to a walk, so as not to frighten the seagulls going through the garbage outside Cooky's Tap. The constellations Orion and Cassiopeia were visible in the early winter sky. Chris had given us a map of the heavens for Christmas and Jim and I had been teaching ourselves about the stars. I wondered what Jim was doing at that moment. I wondered if he was wearing a black mask and if his head was between Francesca's heavy thighs. Then I heard some steps behind me.

"Angel, angel," Jim cried out to me across the clear winter night. "Angel, wait up."  ##



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