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With Love, A Letter to Cookie and her Stories

May 2017


Robert Mapplethorpe, Cookie Mueller, 1978.


Dear Cookie,


I knew your face from the pictures first.


No one looks as ravishing in red at 4 a.m. on a toilet seat, lacy red knickers stretched down to your knees, with triangles of skin peeping through the folds of red fabric you probably fashioned together a few hours before the party.


No one looks as “alive” dead as you do in your casket, with bangles stacked up to your elbow like a glistening, gold Cleopatra.


I knew your face from the pictures first, but then I found your books and came to your writing. It is this body that I long for, the body of your stories.


I long to touch those eyes, that skin, that face, that fabric, but instead it’s my writing you that touches, a second skin.


It is a skin that scratches, to find the other you.

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