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the backs of the necks of men
by K. I. M

yeah. that's where it is. that's where it resides. that's where you'll find the magic something something that determines whether you really love him or not. here's what you do. you just look at it and you ask yourself could i kiss it? i mean really kiss it? kiss the living hell out of it? kiss it and kiss it and kiss it and keep on kissing it?

because in the midst of all the flirting and flushing and brushing up together it's easy to forget that neck. never forget the neck. in fact if you're really smart it'll be the second thing you look at. after you finish checking out the front and maybe even after you finish checking out the back if you're in to that sort of thing but don't forget to look up. look up dammit.

up.

at the neck. it will save you a lot of grief in the end and contribute to lowering the national divorce rate in some statistically convoluted way i haven't managed to figure out yet. at any rate if any love of country resides in your heart at all you'll at least consider the neck for an nth of a micro nanosecond. because if you can't kiss that neck like you really mean it then it's sayonara cheesecake charlie because it's over.

forget about his thing. his thing is a given and has a mind of its own anyway and is notoriously easy to please. but someday you're going to be expected to kiss that neck like you mean it and it would be a terrible thing if you started to and then recoiled in horror. uh oh. it's all over if you recoil in horror. my god. what were you thinking? and if you scream? well good night gretchen gridlock because what have i been trying to tell you all this time? check the damn thing out and check it out now before it's too late.

for instance what if you start to kiss it and suddenly discover that it's covered with my god what the hell are those? growths? renegade moles? out of control mutant meathead skin tags? heaven forbid cancer? am i expected to run my tongue over those and pretend to like it? you'll ask yourself weakly. or do i ruin the moment forever by berating his stupid ass for not taking care of it sooner and rushing him to the nearest clinic before some unnamed horror claims him forever? and my fez off to you if you can ride the nauseous wave that far with mercy and grace. you're a far better cupcake than i. because if i didn't really love him i'd probably have to kick his ass for doing me like that.

and then the jig is up, isn't it?

see what i'm saying? it's a requirement. a law of love fixed in the heavenlies from since before the beginning of time. too bad nobody saw fit to say something sooner. could have saved the rest of us a heap of grief by issuing a national alert or posting a recall notice of some sort or another. or maybe a kind of product warning. but i digress. i'm telling you now and you'd best listen up.

for example it's like the time i went to the movies with a so-called friend of mine and i was walking behind him and suddenly i noticed that long neck rising up out of that stretched-out t-shirt collar like a leaning tower of cheap strawberry ice cream. pink as the day it was born and one hundred and sixty times as rough. i said to myself my god who could ever kiss a neck like that? and that's when it hit me. the law of love.

and the answer was: somebody who really loved him that's who.

or how about a bertha burned the house down leather neck? covered with scales and thicker than three unsplit cowhides on steroids. yum yum. that's what i'm talkin' 'bout. you'd have to really love him wouldn't you? that's what i'm trying to say. yee haw. kiss that boon doggie on the sly if you can. i dare you.

or consider if you will the neck that's thicker than the rock of ages and twice as hard. it's the kind of neck that makes the name samson stampede through your mind like a runaway chariot. and i might be persuaded to kiss a neck such as that on a dare or something equally foolish but my lips would probably turn to stone in the process and what good is a pair of stone lips? i ask you.

or then there's my all time favorite.

the neck with more hair creeping over the edge of the collar than there is creepy crawling across the top of his head. crawling like a herd of tarantulas over the edge of forever. jesus. can you imagine rolling over opening your eyes and seeing that? it'd be like a b-movie nightmare on crack. because you know where there's a herd of tarantulas flinging themselves headlong over the edge of tomorrow then there's gotta be even more where those came from. pouring in and around and through 'til your cup fairly runneth at the mouth with them. tarantulas tarantulas everywhere and nary a clearing in sight. gack gack gack get back arachnid attack.

gives a whole new meaning to fuzz buster.

and then there's the neck with lazy lines wandering diagonally up and around and back and crossing each other here and there and everywhere like intersecting snail trail lines on a crazy chain-stich sampler and spotted all over with blossoms in brown and white. texture creamy smooth as a polished piano. like the one i'm thinking of right now that's full and round and thick and somehow reminds me of a holiday ham roast with a brown sugar glaze dripping down the sides and don't it just make you want to sample it pronto. mmm. mmm. succulent. and i said to myself i said now there's a neck i could love for as long as we both shall live so help me god. yeah.

and so i did.


K. I. M. is a California native who has been published in magazines such as Ariel VI, Dream International Quarterly, Orphic Lute and Tickled By Thunder. She is currently pursuing songwriting and works as a commercial carpenter to make ends meet.

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