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True Stories by Steve Keely
She & Her Sister
She moves like a panther in the dark.
The show rolls in an elegant Kenyan theater but I can't take my eyes off the peanut girl. She approaches as the screen brightens, brushes me with candies, then disappears. The intent makes the seat hard.
At intermission, I see she's a princess. She stands close and I smell the evening's work. "I’m Bo. Would you like to walk after the final feature?" She grins and nods.
We parade town for chicken, and she speaks of meeting a sister later. She cleans the chicken to the bone, washes it lustily with three beers, and mews, “We have time together now.”
By the African gods, she’s a hell-raiser. The mattress trampolines and whips moans that last…
We walk hand-in-hand to meet her sister at midnight. The sidewalk starts to crack and is littered. Disheveled denizens shift past or peer silently from alcoves. We enter a door of peeling paint into a room where light bulbs hang like dots.
It’s another cinema! Trash heaps the corners, old smudges climb walls, sloppy drunks mill, and a foreign track scratches my ears. "What?…” She shoves by the drunks to stand behind a greasy candy glass. Her face darkens, "In line!” Her hands work like a boxer, money in, candy out… “One at a time!”
I race from the slum to the hotel on jelly legs. She took my hand from a lavish theater to a ghetto cinema without batting an eyelash, and there’s one loose end.
Did I make love to her or her sister?
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