Toni Marques
osculum infame

Translated by Alex Forman



There you could see buildings made of money. Something Newark didn’t have. Ugly city! But the window was closed. The efficiency window. The studio where he took her. In a building made of money and mirrors. She thought the window was closed. She hoped it was. That’s how they’d agreed to leave it. What happened there no one should imagine, let alone see. She couldn’t see or hear the street. A street that she wanted to keep seeing. A street made of mirrors, reflected money. Of all the streets of her life, it was the only one she wanted to see and hear again. This was why she’d come to New Jersey from Valadares in the first place. But she was also leaving New Jersey. Because she'd had enough of Brazilians. In Newark, they weren’t any better than in Brazil. They didn’t speak a drop of English. They lived the life of bolinho de bacalhau. Getting Brazilian pussy in divvy Portuguese strip joints. But, yes, yes, yes! that marvelous New York cop had immobilized her. Superman. Master of his gift of double penetration. He was all that she wanted. He was better than a national American. He was a blessed-by-nature Super-American. She considered him a blue-eyed pastrami-eating American. Equipped, like a true American. He had loads of toys. This American was now her master. In his presence she did not think or feel. In God she trusted. For God and the American Super Cop she was no longer Brazilian. She was more herself.

He swapped out the earplugs for earphones. The old-fashioned, big ones. Plugged them into a boom box. Her head filled with moans. Screams downloaded from the Internet. She was blindfolded. She wasn’t allowed to speak. Her tongue was extended. Tongue tied in a permanent tongue wag. She drooled. A string attached her piercing to her nipples, pulled her tits, and stretched her breasts even more skyward. She was very wet.

She belonged to an American. She could say whatever she wanted, right? In America no one was mute. Everyone mouthed off. Everyone had an opinion.

She did not like firemen. She once fucked a fireman. He was a racist. Before they’d fucked he disinfected her in the bathtub. Scrubbed her until she’d bled. Almost. Irish firemen hated Asians, Latinos, Blacks. When she danced at Galicia, at Don Costa, at the Emigrante, at Casa Paris, at the Copacabana Club they all said they loved Brazilians. For your fat Brazilian asses. Just the hose to put out the ass fire, they said. Potty-talk even for her native city of Governador Valadares. But nothing kinky every happened with the Irish-American. That’s the truth. Uptight, red-eared Irishman! Went down on her, but there was no spark. No hose. It’s impossible to satisfy a Latina when you're up in her face all the time. Latina this and Latina that. “Jennifer Lopez” this, and “burritos” that. Ignorant, rusty-haired fireman! But that last-days-of-summer, blue-eyed American cop! Even though he knew nothing about Brazil, he was incapable of ignorance. He was no pig. The slut at the bar had boasted she was part Venezuelan, part Colombian. Said that made her part natural beauty queen, and a hottie too. Who the fuck did she think she was? Some kind of Super-Latina? He’d defended the women of the world with class. Something that’s hard to come by. If it was the beer- and potato-bellied fireman, it’d have been an earful of You're are all bitches.

Idiot Americans love Latina prejudices. One thing she would never forget. From her days of exotic dancing and the rest. A street fight between Latina dancers and Russian hookers. Latina’s swearing the Russians wore dirty panties. They never wipe after pooping. Talk like that made her notice the turf war. Say it was jealousy because the Russians were so pretty. Or say it was because they were so tough they would go with any client. Whatever. It was competition.

Ever since she was little she adored pageants. First was the Miss Uncle Scrooge in Valadares. Sponsored by a construction store. She almost won. But, that time, the crown went for something she didn’t have. Thighs. A butt. Waist, hips, and natural American boobs. Next, she entered the Miss Swimming Pool Pageant. The Miss All-You-can-Eat-Barbecue. The Miss Immigration. She had a lot of experience. Not a single victory.

Since the 1940s Americans had been travelling to Valadares for the mica-rich soil. They also helped reconstruct an old railway to export steel. They ended up enchanting the girls of Valadares. They took them home to the US. Not so much because they wanted brides. They were good for exportation-type maids. These domestics brought more domestics. An underground railroad of floor rags. At the end of the day, this was no escape. At the end of the rope, there was a mop.

The Brazilian community in Jersey was home to a 1st generation American-Brazilian cop. Son of a single-mother who’d been seduced away from Valadares by an American engineer just after the War. The Brazilian-American cop was from Newark. Always in uniform, he was the pride of his community. Put him next to a Brazilian, he appeared very American. But next to an American, he was no fool.

He was at all the community events. He had his own way paying attention. Kept one eye fixed fixed on you. The other surveying his surroundings.

The event was The Miss Brazil-America finals. He approached her. He didn’t survey her with his cop-eye. He congratulated her, though she'd been eliminated. In his hand he held a cold empada. It was part of the buffet spread prepared by the event organizers, put out in Tupperware on a big table in a corner of the room. A mound of savory pastries included in the cost of admissions.

His anomaly divided women: the brave from the meek. He was getting sick of terrorizing women. This was the moment, he thought. Like the crossroads he faced every time there was a street crime. One civilian will rise up against the injustice, while hundreds, maybe thousands, are paralyzed or flee the scene. Maybe it was time. Quit the police force while he still had his health. Quit drinking. Go back to the gym, lose some pounds, and become a porn star. Research had it that he was not one in a million. He was one in five million capable of double penetration. He'd choose a stage name like Johnny Diphalic, or something.

The Brazilian girl, probably just another fake. An amateur. It’s best you just go, he said. If you are feeling anxious now, you certainly won’t be pleased with what I can do with it. That and my tongue. And my hands. And my toys.

Oh my god, do what you want, she said. She’d even pay to see it.

He turned the Hitachi vibrator to max. One, two, three, four. The innumerable orgasms of one immobilized. She came as if drowning. Like she was being squeezed to death by an anaconda.

He left her lying there in paroxysms. He lit a cigarette. Beautiful September day. A new mayor.

He’d decided to play a little game of asphyxiation with her. He covered the breathing hole on the vacuum bed every now and again.

He was crouched over the bed when the sound of a massive crash made him run to the window. In his view a smoking hole spit flames from atop the tower. He grabbed his badge and his gun and ran out. He didn't think to release the Brazilian stripper in orgasm on the air mattress.

Rio de Janeiro 2008

O Beijo Infame © Toni Marques
Translation © 2012 Alex Forman