The pout

by Ampat Koshy

She started wondering if she was lesbian or bisexual one day. She could not stop birdwatching was why.

Her lover offered to meet her in USA, take her to a lez bar and then after she got aroused, take her to a hotel and…. She agreed.

She told him that it was becoming more pronounced, her interest, day by day. Then they both laughed. She wrote a story in which the character was lesbian. It was difficult to, she said. She wrote of one character sucking the other’s breast, then edited it out.

One day, she saw women working in a field and envied the sun and wished to be like him and take them as he, the sun, was doing, right then and there, entering them freely and beating down on them hot and mercilessly.

My husband looks, she told her lover.

So do I.

Again, they both laughed.

What at? he asked

Those were the days before he became so jealous that she could not share anything with him. That was the pity with men. Even lovers become like husbands. Then you have to stop sharing, or share only selectively with them.

At everything, she said. Breasts, nipples, lips, eyes, cheeks, skin, lashes, cleavage, underarms, hips, down above upper lips, hair, buttocks, thighs, legs, feet…

He was amused.

Soon she brought herself seemingly under control. Being married, with children and all.

Or became secretive. It went underground, her fascination, though he knew it had not fully died out by her likes on fb on walls of some fair beauties which he now saw in a different light.

They stopped talking about it.

One day he had a dream. In it she was looking fascinated at a woman pout to put on lipstick and then she broke out into a cold sweat. He could see every drop of sweat on her dark skin glisten with an unbelievable ferocity, that of arousal.

She went up to the woman and took the lipstick from her hand and applied it on her lips. Then she pouted and used the same lipstick on her lips too.

The earth reeled. Lipstick on lips. Pout on pout. Pout on kiss. Kiss on pout. Pout on pout. Lips on lipstick.

A pout was the puff of pot or pint of port for which she would be ready to lose the world and gain….

Lip(s) locked. Leg/s locked. Land locked. Lay of the land. Lie of the land. Laid Lady.

He did not tell her about the dream. It might have come from the vestigial residue of the fact that she never kissed. Or told.

But the pout on the lips of the stranger, the other woman, in his dream continued to haunt him, night after night. It reappeared in different places, spaces and times and in a plethora of colors of lipstick; brown, black, green, blue, red, grey, pink, cherry, pied…

He longed to see her face, but all he saw was her lips.

He wondered. Was there an iota of truth in it?

Or was it just a pout of defiance on their part, to assert their independence.

He did not know. The only learning he gathered was that pouts  being lipsticked are titillating.   He understood the image’s gendered connotations and burned in heat and dust, in silence , at its softness, it impenetrability, its impracticality and its hardness and violence.

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