A Ghost Is Born

Cheryl Diane Kidder


I knew the minute he was finally inside me again, the way he touched me, how he smelled, how his neck tasted, the pressure of his hips on mine, the way his feet pushed at the floor, the way we lay on the carpet and not the bed, I knew he’d been with someone else and at the same instant I knew that all the times in the last two years when I thought he’d been with someone else that he hadn’t because it was so very clear to me now, exactly now, what it felt like to fuck the man I adored when the last woman he was with was right there in the room with us.

    She wasn’t a strong presence, but she moved in and out, around us as we pushed and pulled along my living room carpet. I’d catch her scent when he turned his head and my tongue was in his ear, his hair all over my face, she was there, close by and nothing I did, no screaming, no thrashing, no nail gouges on his back could make her leave.

    After two years of knowing this man, fucking him tonight was new and not new in the way when a lover goes away and comes back and his flesh is new to you again, but new in the way that this would be the last time, because this knowledge, knowing so clearly where he had been and the longer we went at it, getting to know the woman by the way he touched me, the way he ran his mouth over my legs, the time he spent on my breasts, my neck, his hands on my ass, was all done with her legs, her breasts, her neck and she was here, close now and every move I made, I made around her, despite her, because of her.

    Every time in the past, the moment his cock would touch me my back would arch, I’d come a little in anticipation and he knew it. But this time, this last time, I lay flat on the carpet, very aware of my ass rocking across the nape, aware of where my hands were, what my mouth was doing, where I put my feet because I knew she was watching, with his eyes, but she was there, watching and the next time he went to her I wondered if I would be there, if she would see me in his hair, smell me on his chest, taste me on his thigh. Would she know what I knew so clearly, what this orgasm couldn’t make up for, what my head finally at rest on his shoulder would never tell him? Would the memory of me haunt them as much as the figure I could plainly see now on the couch across the room, impatient and naked, waiting her turn?



Cheryl Diane Kidder’s work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and has appeared in numerous journals, including Potomac Review, Weber–The Contemporary West, Brevity, The Manifest-Station, Boaat Press, Front Porch, High Desert Journal, CutThroat Journal of the Arts, Pembroke Magazine, Brain,Child, Identity Theory, In Posse Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Tucson.