Federico Garcia Lorca

The Unfaithful Housewife

For Mary Peace

Then I led her to the river certain she was still a virgin though she had a husband. The fourth Friday in July, as good as on a promise. The street lights were vanishing and the crickets flaring up. Last bend out of town I brushed her sleepy breasts. They blossomed of a sudden like the tips of hyacinths and the starch of her petticoat bustled in my ear like silk slit by a dozen blades. The pines, minus their halo of silver, grew huger and the horizon of dogs howled a long way from the river. Past the blackberry bushes, the rushes and whitethorn, beneath her thatch of hair, I made a dip in the sand. I took off my neckerchief. She unstrapped her dress. Me my gun and holster, she her layers of slips... Not tuberose, not shell, has skin as half as smooth nor does mirror glass have half the shimmer. Her hips flitted from me like a pair of startled tench: the one full of fire, the other full of cold. That night I might as well have ridden the pick of the roads on a mother-of-pearl mare without bridle or stirrups. Gentleman that I am, I won’t say back the scraps she whispered to me. It dawned out there to leave my lip bitten. Filthy with soil and kisses, I led her from the river and the spears of lilies battled in the air. I behaved only the way a blackguard like me behaves. I offered her a big creel of hay-colored satins. I had no wish to fall for her. She has a husband after all, though she was still a virgin when I led her to the river.

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