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  November/December 2012
volume 9 number 2
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Deborah Edler Brown December 2012



photo by james barros

    Deborah Edler Brown is a Los Angeles-based poet, journalist, author, and teacher, with two poetry chapbooks, several writing awards, a non-fiction book, and a variety of journals and anthologies to her name. She was born in Brazil, raised in Pittsburgh, and has family on four continents. She learned to dance before she learned to walk, started writing in grade school, and is entirely in love with the magic and rhythm of words.



Chocolate, Sorrow and Sex

    The delirious chocolate woman stumbled down the street, skirt hiked up so high you could almost see her clit, and hat on backwards, yelling "Hersheys is the road to salvation!"
    I watched her from my office window. Id watched her for months, every day at noon, stumbling down Thayer Street, waving her brown bag over her head and asking for change. She wasn't drunk, just crazy. And the guy at the newsstand said all she bought was Hershey bars and Hershey kisses when anyone gave her change.
    "The cocoa bean is the voice of God!" she chimed, and tittered a happy, anxious sound. "You know." She pointed at the group of boys on their bikes. They rode off before she got any nearer. "You know!" she called, and I realized she was looking straight at me. She held my eyes for a beat longer than I could stand, and I felt like I'd been stripped to my chocolate loving soul.
    I did know. I'd known since I was 10. Since I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Since I first tasted the dark bean's sweet at a birthday party at five (chocolate being banned in my upright home). I knew that this was a taste to cry for. Maybe not to die for, but certainly worth sacrifice. It melted in my mouth, and the tingle started down in my toes and work it's way up. I knew, and she knew I knew. I looked down at my notebook and ledger, but she was still out there. I could feel her eyes on my neck. I felt her reading my thoughts like a librarian skimming the card catalogue: chocolate candy, chocolate kisses, chocolate ice cream, chocolate foreplay, chocolate and sex, chocolate and sorrow, chocolate, sorrow and sex. That's it. That's the deadly combination, the unhinger.
    I looked up into her eyes. They said, Chocolate, sorrow and sex. They said sometimes even chocolate betrays you. Sometimes nothing is enough.

copyright 2012 Deborah Edler Brown