Rosalie's hair is glossy and black, as glossy and black as a raven's wing. It hangs down over her sun-bronzed shoulders and back in ringlets she makes with a curling iron.
She reaches up and back to grasp a sheaf of these ringlets and there is the brisk metallic sound of a spring-loaded hair clip snapping closed. Her arms and hands briefly form a circle. She fingers a brightly chromed nipple ring, throwing back her shoulders, smiles into the mirror, blows me a kiss.
There are colorful and ladylike tattoos, ivy wrapped around a trident on her right shoulder blade, a fish bursting from a multicolored dial on the small of her back where a linen robe is puddled around her hips where she is perched on the little vanity stool.
She glances at me in the mirror as she wets a fingertip and smooths the seam in a joint she just lit, handing it to me, then blotting her lipstick with a tissue in one motion before she glances in the mirror over her shoulder and smiles at our lover lolling naked on the bed in an evening breeze coming in through the screens from the sleeping porch.
It's a secret woman to woman glance, a brief smile with no nod from one to another whose reproductive and neurological chemistry is synchronized through proximity.
Their skin texture is so similar one can hardly tell the difference with eyes closed in the dark stroking gently and lovingly along the lines of smooth musculature and swooping lady subcutaneous mystery over hips strong enough to birth, fight, flight, bear and kick, climb and run for cover.
I have massaged them daily now for a fortnight after yoga and meditation in the mornings, eyes closed, smoothing in the oil and cocoa butter. I know every ticklish spot and roughened area where straps and elastic take a holiday in their nudity.
We are together, Rosalie, Gwen and I, trying to forget the winter and the approaching end of spring.
We loaded and cleaned the pistols and a shotgun, gassed up the car and got ready for the run for the harbor.
Tomorrow at dawn we will learn what we waited for.
We smile, feeling our pulses quicken. We will do it just the way we planned, the boat, the load, the money, the getaway, as simple as that.
We smile once more. One, another, amid the Spanish moss in the old oaks, we smile once more.
Outlaws, outside the protection of the law, we wait the time.
Jim Parks is a newsman, deckhand, farm hand, ramblin' man and truck drivin' man. Keep him away from the firewater and don't mess with his food or his woman.