Russell Edson

The Fascination

     A rat was trying to fit its tail into an old woman to keep it from
being stepped on.
     Don’t, said the old woman, not at my age.
     The old woman’s husband said, the rat’s trying to do with you as I
did when I was doing with you. It’s fascinating.
     It is not fascinating, cried the old woman, no more so than when
you were having to do with me.
     But, as the old husband and wife disputed the fascination of it, the
rat fitted its tail into the old woman.
     When they discovered the rat doing as the old man had, the old
woman said, see, it is not fascinating.
     And the old man said, you’re right, it is too biological …


The Wound

     A womanness had formed in a man’s hand, which he called the
wound of his desire …
     He asked his father if it was a good thing that a man marry his hand.
     Marry your hand? cried his father, then what will things have come
to when men have married their hands?
     The intimacy already speaks to the conjugal, said the man as he
showed his father how it was with his hand.
     Your hand is full of womanness, cried his father, it is not right that
men look upon unclothed womanness without that she were clothed in
man’s desire, lest it were that woman was to judgment come; nor right that
men take their hands to weddedness, that they become one-handed to the
true work of the world …