about the author

Back in the day, Barry Basden picked cotton, sold greeting cards out of a pickup, and worked in a pawn shop, where he played with the musical instruments, never very well. Now he lives in the Texas hill country with his wife and two yellow Labs. In his spare time he edits Camroc Press Review. His guitar sits alone in a cedar closet, remembering old songs.

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Caressing and Possessing

Barry Basden

I fall in love with her breasts, she with my sad eyes. I’m seventeen, living at home. She’s a waitress, twenty-four, divorced, living with her two kids back at home, too. Midnight Saturday, we’re parked in her mother’s driveway. She’s lying across the front seat and I am down in her slickness. Her head is all that’s showing in the window when the cop rolls up and says we are upsetting the teenage girl across the street.

Next time, we drive out to the water plant and park in a rutted lane. The front seat is back. My jeans are down, knees in the grit on the floorboard, hands lifting her hips. I want to disappear in her. Windows fog up. I am about to crawl up on her, my face slippery wet, when a spotlight blasts through the rear window. The cop gives us a minute then walks to the passenger side. My pants are up now and she’s laid hers over her lap. A flashlight plays across us and a detached hand makes a roll-down motion. She cracks the window and hands out our driver’s licenses.

After he’s gone, we sit without speaking. Then she takes my hand and I feel a rushing in my chest, something filling me up. This is new and I think I need to prepare, though I haven’t a clue. For the longest time, we don’t move, just sit holding hands. I stare at the stars, listen to us breathe.

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