Iowa Writes

"The Helpmeet"

To my surprise Diane Williams wants me to hold her fucking ass. She is the very picture of strength and health. She is in this state of well-being.
           She loves me and I am someone who should stay concealed. Still, I keep coming to light. I am an annoyance rather than a deep disturbance. In other words — I go to my room when I am told to, shut the door, and I stay there until I am given permission to come out.
           When I come back, some secrecy is necessary. Nothing could have seemed more essential when I took off my peg-top trousers. I untied my shoes. Stood. I felt so tightly bound to her while we were stiffly rocking.
           If I go away someday, I want to know how she will live without me.
           I will ask her to go into detail about her sexual needs.
           Why do I even care how many of her needs there are?
           Just for conversation's sake, let's say there are just two.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Diane Williams is co-editor of StoryQuarterly. She is the author of This Is About the Body, the Mind, the Soul, the World, Time and Fate (Grove Press) and Which God Might Choose to Appear (Grove Press).

"The Helpmeet," originally published in the Spring-Summer 1994 (24.2) issue of The Iowa Review, can be found on the magazine's free online archives.

This page was first displayed
on August 09, 2013

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