In Defense Of The Hickey

I am too old for hickies. I am a 33-year-old woman. A college professor, searching my bureau drawer for a clean turtleneck to wear to work. I specialize in scarves. Not because I favor them, but because my neck wears a garland of purple blossoms. My chest is a mess of bullet holes, my beloved’s mouth the gun.

The first time we lay together, she pressed her mouth to my neck, opened it, and pulled, unraveling me. I hadn’t been marked by a mouth in years.

“It’s embarrassing,” I said later, “but I love hickies.”

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