The Rules Of Making Love
by Proserpina

Its barely dawn, so they're not going to get out of bed for at least another hour--another hour of doing nothing but lying in the pale light and listening to Johnny LaGuardia's voice on the radio, a low but constant hum. Pamie thinks up poetry in her head, patterning it on the rhythms of Nikki's heartbeat, and Nikki smokes and pretends that Pamie's wandering hands don't tickle.

Pamie runs her fingers over the ladder of Nikki's ribs and wonders aloud, "Is it called making love if neither person is a boy?" It's a stupid thing to say, really, but...she's been wondering lately. What defines love and sex when there are two girls involved, and no boys at all? Is that even allowed to be love at all?

Nikki coughs on her smoke laughing. "I don't call it makin' love anyway; I call it fucking," she says. In a second, though, her voice goes serious. "But...yeah. I guess so, anyway. Why the fuck shouldn't it be? I fuck girls the same way other girls fuck boys, so why not?" She says it like it doesn't matter, but Pamie can feel Nikki's breathing still in her chest.

It doesn't start again until Pamie smiles into Nikki's shoulder and says quietly, "Good. Because I've been thinking about it lately."

"You have?"


"Like...two girls fu--" She catches sight of Pamie's face and grins, ruffling her hair. "Makin' love?"

Pamie smiles. "Yes."

"Oh." Nikki's hands still, and then she runs it slowly, hesitantly through Pam's hair. "Well, you know. Me and Sharon did it a lot, before she started shootin' up and had track marks all over the place." She snorts. "And there were a couple of other girls too, mostly at the juvenile centers, know. Sharon was the only one who hung around for a long time."

"Were you in love with her?" Pamie moves her head until she can look Nikki in the eyes, but they're fixed on the ceiling, surrounded by a haze of smoke.

"I dunno. I loved her," Nikki offers. "I loved her more than anybody I knew before her, and I'm pretty sure she loved me back. But you know how it is. She wanted her fuckin' smack more than she wanted me."

"Nikki?" Pamie tugs at Nikki's shirts until Nikki looks at her. "Do you love me?"

"Slick..." Nikki's smiles are always jagged, but this one looks like broken glass. "Shit, Slick. Wait a minute." Pamie does, laying there quietly with her head on Nikki's shoulder, while Nikki smokes and squints like she does when she's thinking hard, her hand still in Pamie's hair. "I love you like...I love you like you love poetry. Okay, Pamiekins? I love you like I love not bein' locked up, like I love my guitar. Like I love music. You know?"

Pamie can't help herself from beaming and hugging Nikki so tight that she can feel the other girl's tiny fossil bones, birdlike through her back, because she knows. She knows. "You are poetry, Nikki. And I think I love you more. More than T.S. Eliot and e.e. cummings and Sylvia Plath altogether..."

Nikki laughs and hugs back, and her smile doesn't look like razor wire anymore. "You love me more than Johnny's voice on the radio?"

Pamie kisses Nikki on her smiling mouth, and throws a pillow at the radio so that it falls off the dresser. Its doesn't require saying.


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