Can I confess something?

Sure.

There is something horribly horribly wrong with me.

The man with the gun approaches me- at first silently, and then urgently. He presses the barrel against the small of my back. The metal is smooth, cold against the heat emanating from my bare back. We exchange pleasantries.

(We are awkward, but somehow familiar.)

We continue dancing, moving to the unfamiliar beat. My dress is soaked, my skin is breathing. The air is just about ready to storm. Do not be ignorant of me.

I crave his touch, his need; the thought of our bare skin together is seductive.

I turn around in his arms. Face him. Go ahead. For I am the first and the last.

I kiss him. But in my arms, he morphs into a woman. My mind is deluding itself. His silk suit is a slinky dress. His blond locks are long tresses. Our bodies meld. I am thrown onto the ground with inhuman force. I can feel every single grain of sand on my back. My back is wet- a mixture of blood and sweat.

It hurts. I want her to stop. I am the honored one and the scorned one.

Don't stop. She kneels over me, her legs wide. She is very thin- tall, and fragile. I don't want to touch her for fear of breaking her. Is she real? She kisses me tenderly, gently.

She grabs a glass bottle and smashes it over my head. For a second, I am on the brink of insanity. Or perhaps sanity. I am on the edge of a cliff, and the bottom is beginning to look pretty good. She's down there, beckoning me. She strips for me; slips off the straps of her dress one by one. I am the whore and the holy one. Her breasts are small, but perfect. Her stomach is completely flat, her legs bony and too thin. For a second she looks like a small child. But then she opens her mouth, lips stained apple red with blood- and blows me a kiss. She's laughing at my lack of self-control. She is triumphant- she is Julius, laughing at her conquered empires. And it is entirely too late, I have fallen, stepped off the edge, and become entranced by our solipsism.

I am the barren one, and many are her sons. She is an abomination. She is beloved.

We press our bodies against the broken glass, as if the presence of our blood will also prove our existence.

The force of our love will engender a new universe. The force of our love will be an apocalypse.

I am Gregor, and she is the lady in furs.

I am Antigone, and she is my Haemon.

I want to explore a nonexistent sea. We find it together; our love forces its existence. She drags knives along my skin. I am her canvas, and I must be painted. She cuts her name into my skin. I am the utterance of my name.

She butterflies a vein, the way she butterflies a lamb chop. I want her to tie me back up, somehow stuff my intestines back inside me. I want her to rub me in garlic and basil- and maybe a little mint. Baste me in olive oil. Put me in a 350 oven.

Do not hate my obedience and do not love my self-control. We are immortalized, Zeus and Ganymede in our perverseness. She rapes me. Or I rape her. She is the most beautiful of mortals.

Our limbs are shivering with cold, and we bring them together. A gesture of perfect love. Why, you who hate me, love me, and hate those who love me? She studies my face, imperfect symmetry. We are two circles that can never be tangent, the distant between our centers is 15 centimeters, but our radii are only 5 centimeters long. I try so hard to make us fit. But I cannot bend space and time, and the graph paper refuses to yield my mind powers.

She aims carefully, one hand holding her gun. I am Christ on my crucifix, and she is Mary Magdalene with her damnation.

Will she kill me? I wouldn't blame her if she did. She lifts my chin lovingly, studies my profile for a second. She finds my neck, bites it precisely. Obligingly, I keep my head back, my neck exposed like a piece of flesh for sale. I am shameless, I am ashamed. I hear the gunshot, or I imagine it. I feel the bullet hit my flesh, exactly on target. The pain is minimal, the blood almost nonexistent. I feel this is an appropriate ending.

Author's Note: This is to be a collection of short stories based on the poem Thunder Perfect Mind. Or maybe I will change my mind. However, at the very least, this first short story is based on Thunder Perfect Mind. It's meant to explore the role of female and male, transformation, magic realism, and idealization. I don't want to waste space writing about it, because to tell you the truth- this story disturbs me. And it may disturb you. I find I don't want to reread it too many times, or think about it too much. But if anyone feels like they really want to talk to me about it, feel free to e-mail me.

Also- this is an edited version. There is an unedited version that is a bit more graphic. If someone wants to read it, drop me a line, and I can e-mail it to you.

Also- I attempt some humor here. You may not find it humorous at all, and find it incredibly confusing. Don't worry, it's not just you. Actually, I may be the only one who gets the humor.

Also- If someone wants to be a beta for the rest of this, feel free to e-mail me. But be warned:

You will be reading some unedited stuff that may or may not make you cry/laugh/vomit.

I am not looking for a grammar/spelling editor; I am looking for a content editor. So you should be a good writer yourself, reasonably well read, and open-minded.

Also- CRITICIZE. REVIEW. Tell me I'm wrong, tell me my story has too many obscure references, and tell me my main characters are missing names. I want to hear this stuff, I really do. It always makes a writer feel good to get a review (positive or negative), it is evidence that someone has read her work, has interpreted it, has formed an opinion, and has allowed his/herself to think about it.

Also- I'm sorry I'm so long winded.