is an ugly fault,

and now it's a boring fault too.

- Antonio Machado, 'Fourteen Poems Chosen from Moral Proverbs and Folk Songs'

Imperfect Charms

Best of all about her sunny smile, he loves the crooked gaps between those full lips that do not conform to this era's standards of beauty.

He tells her this, in an unguarded moment, and detects a flicker of annoyance. 'Well, owe that to not being able to afford braces,' Sookie protests, before he silences her. His mouth on hers insistent, working his tongue over her teeth until she laughs.

'Corsets and guilt...' He glides a cool finger up one smooth leg; hears her pulse quicken. 'The spikes and gnarls of orthodontics. They belong to people who think they have the world figured out - that they just know how things ought to be.

'We've no need for them, you and I.'

14 September 2008