The flower grows under the needle, a spreading blackness in the skin.
“Your canvas is getting crowded,” an accent like silk.
“Oui,” says Ink, eyes lilted.
The flower grows.
“I wonder about men who never talk.” Her hands work the needles –the skin– her French the ears. “Austrians have nothing to say, let them be sullen. But a man with a canvas. So many stories in this flesh.”
Ink is silent.
“Silent men, is that they don’t like French? The language of love. Perhaps they cannot speak it.” Her needle waits for an answer then continues. “Perhaps they have things to say… things no one want to hear.”
The flower blooms under the skin.
She stands and puts the drops the needles into their jar. They hiss and steam. Walking to the window she spreads the curtains. Vienna’s sky is blotted with smoke.
“A brothel on fire. One Flower burns while another grows.” She walks back.
Ink watches the sway of her hips lazily.
“Such poetry in your skin. Why the silence, silent man? Is it love? Is it violence?”
He grunts into his pillow.
“Perhaps it is both.” She smiles at her work. “I have so many questions.”
Blood dews on the pedals, she wipes slowly, then again at the streaks, then at muscle. Moving slowly, in circles. Her hands reach his shoulders, her lips his ear.