Two Fictions
Meg Pokrass

Sex in Siberia

My imaginary man lives in Siberia. We touch down on each other like helicopters. I smile, move my mouth around him -- offer a warming hut, a place to explode.  When he bursts, storm clouds open.
Southern California boasts mild, featureless people. The Weather Channel's talking heads, all botoxed and baby-fatted in their cheeks, ramble on about radical snowstorms in New York State. I paint leaves, collect Styrofoam in buckets. Driving downtown for wrapping paper, I count the fake blonds wearing two dollar Santa Claus hats.
My parents divorced and nobody yells anymore, but that is no longer important. I want a Siberian life, a Siberian husband. One whose hair changes from brown to light.
My dog seems worried, and so, he and I take long walks. Sweat trickles down my back. The dog pants miserably. I promise him that someday, we'll skate alongside a large man who loves Labs.
In December, I slump into bed early, imagine what it will be like -- Siberian sex. Better than any other kind -- so cold outside, so warm under the covers. I ball up socks and rub them where the man would go. We're there, and he is teaching me how to taste snow.


My husband is reading on the bed. After packing my third bag, I find myself staring at his penis which pokes out the side of his shorts when he lies down. It has always been friendly. I'm going to miss it.
"You are staring," he says.
"Still leaving tonight?" he asks.
My stomach is rotted out from too much coffee.
He gets out of bed, grabs at a kleenex box behind the bookcase.  His clam shell mouth closed and round.
The telephone rings.
Four miscarriages in the last two years. Each time we adopted an adult cat. Four cats now. One of them, the gray tiger cat, is dozing on the foot of the bed.
"I am but. . ."
"Remove Zelda," he says.
I pick her up and take her to the sunny living room. On the bed, when I come back in. . . his shorts are off, not his shirt. His right hand is already moving evenly, tenderly. He seems to want me to watch, is gazing at me with a tiny smile, so I unbutton my shirt for him. His sperm is rising -- hopeful and stupid.
The room smells like fresh bread.