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Melanie Figg

Advocatus Diaboli

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I want nothing but to please you, blessed young thing, creamy & taut. I am a Promoter of Faith. I want only what pleases you. Speak of your fears against me in a sacred place, if convenient, I will reply against your throat, the bones of your wrists. There is nowhere I cannot reach, there is nothing I will leave undone. Possession is not lightly to be taken—and nothing of your firm hotness will be taken for granted. I adore your darkness. Your dark complicates & calls. No, your wooden shoes sound not like hooves in the meeting house. Whoever said that is not a holy man, of a blameless life. You are a deer in the thicket. I would decimate the field to reach you. To court you is a duty, a day job. I prepare for the work by special acts of devotion and mortification such as rehearsing in a mirror and practicing on peasants. Hush, no idle and curious questioning—only ask of me what you would ask of your Lord, gleaming in the river, filling your lungs. I will cover your face with the truth until it masks you, out among the others. All the while eager to return to me, repeating the rites, desperate, if need be.

Advocatus Diaboli: she responds

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O sir, put your mouth
to my throat, and I will
babble to the ceiling of your
virtue, your dangerous virtue.
I surface to the edge
of my skin under your good
hands—small prophets
that know before
my begging arch. You
of the not yet. Your
teeth dragging harder
against my nipples stand in
for affection and loyalty.
How kind of you
to pretend, to not raise a fuss.
You are an accomplice
to my tomfoolery: the body
and soul can never agree.
After we shake the body
rattle in the soft,
wary light of promise,
we each begin our exits—
forming perfect sentences
of evidence and sorrow.

Advocatus Diaboli: a correspondence

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Sometimes the Devil is a gentleman. —Percy Bysshe Shelley

I cannot stop thinking of you, and it's been nearly five hours. Love not onely makes a man prodigall, but also an enemy to himselfe—what can I do but regret what was not said? I shall say it to you now, in the automatic romance of letters, the soft light of email. I am hoodwinkt with mine owne passions, and cannot wait to see you again. Here is what I will do: disrobe and lay thee back and sing of you until my mouth is dry from praise and hunger, and then you will roll over and I will begin again. Is there a flaw I cannot see? I will put my mouth to it, mi vida, mi melle.

Your last letter felt like goodbye, and I found it so cruell, unkind, and almost meerely savage. I will commission a morality tale and mount it at the head of the bed, to incite me when I am in need. See how she is torn to bits by his hunting dogs, and then he rips her heart out and feeds it to them, over and over, throughout eternity? See how much he loves her and cannot live without her? I wish you could see yourself right now: you look so beautiful. We are not these phantom lovers. I have abstained from any such violent act. But Botticelli's mastery is clear, and I cannot wait to see you again. It is like a warm shot to the heart.

Advocatus Diaboli: italics are from the chief points of an Exorcism, taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia: Volume 5, Online Edition 2003. Advocatus Diaboli: a correspondence: italics are taken from random cassanovas, or from Bocaccio's The Decameron, The Fifth Day, The Eighth Novel: The Story of Nastagio of the Onesti and illustrated by Sandro Botticelli in four panels commissioned by Giannozzi Puci for his bride Lucrezia. The panels shaped the headboard in the nuptial chamber.

In Which It is Declared, that She, In Pursuit of Love, Not in Response to, but in Spite of Advocatus Diaboli, or, The Beginnings of a Great Porn Movie

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She pulls her skirts away from the heat. It's enough
to make the wallpaper pucker and peel. This is no
virgin voyage: she's gotten good at courtship.

She is stomping and staring at the broken
stems in her fist. Exhausting to tear such thick petals.
He loves me, loves me not—

She measures time by the blood that pools when
she bites her tongue. Her blouse is ajar—she considers
this spinning room, how far she is from the door.

She gives odds after the first kiss, and the latest one she
leaves, cocky and clueless, to win the chance
to spend weeks by herself in a dying mill town.

Maybe the Real McCoy is here, writing prose across the
railroad tracks. Oddly enough, the first to visit is a strapping
young lad selling meat door to door. O mundane charm. O lust.

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