The Prose Poem

Maxine Chernoff

The Sound

—I hate it when we have sex and you make that sound.
—What sound?
—The sound you make when you're about to have orgasm.
—What sound do you mean?
—I can't describe it. It sounds like no other sound you ever make.
—But why do you hate it?
—It scares me.
—Why would it scare you?
—I guess it's because we're at an intimate moment, and you make an unfamiliar sound.
—It must be my intimate-moment sound.
—But it doesn't sound intimate. It sounds . . . well . . . brutal.
—I make a brutal sound?
—Yes, I think that's how I'd describe it.
—Make the sound for me.
—I can't.
—Of course you can. You remember it, don't you?
—I'm embarrassed to make it.
—You're not embarrassed to tell me, but you're embarrassed to make it?
—Just try.
—All right. It's something like "Yowwwww-oh-woe-woe."
—And that sounds brutal to you?
—It does.
—It sounds to me like I'm very happy.
—It doesn't sound happy to me.
—What sound would you like me to make?
—I don't have an alternative in mind. I just thought I'd tell you that the sound you make, well, it brings me out of the moment. Sex ends for me when I hear that sound.
—That's good, isn't it?
—Why is it good?
—Because you know I've had an orgasm when you hear it.
—But what if I want to do something more to you?
—More? We've both finished by then. What more would we do?
—What if I still want to kiss you and you're making that sound?
—Well, I guess you could try and see.
—Should I try now?
—Why do you think I want you to kiss me when you can't stand the sound I make at my most vulnerable moment?
—I didn't mean I couldn't stand it. I just meant it's distracting.
—Maybe you should gag me.
—Then you'd make the sound but it would be even worse.
—Why would it be worse?
—It would sound all muffled and sad, like the voice of someone locked inside of a trunk.
—So, you'd rather I sound brutal than all muffled and sad?
—I guess so.
—You must really love me then.