What Males Want by Ruth Ducaso (Luciany Aparecida) tr. Sarah Rebecca Kersley

What Males Want 

Tuesday or Thursday. I flip a coin to choose which day.

Any day can be a hunting day. But in that city, those two days were the ones reserved for bleeding men with a sharpened fine-tipped knife.

I like it when the blood flows. I like sensing the fresh smell of red meat. I like leaving the animal immobile. Dominated. Piercing him in the precise river of his neck, at the bend where there’s a tree root joining another and then branching out.

Still body. Stiff body. Heavy water. Thick current.

We don’t control the path of water.

I create a path for the river to run warm, without spilling onto the meat.

I turn over the heavy body. I slice into the organs. The remains of the male’s placenta are delivered, flooding out. I make sure that the tributary continues on its way to meet the river. I place the useless pieces into dirt storage buckets.

I make a cut to the skin. Behind the neck, at the place where the male holds himself up. Brave bull. Strong bull. I only serve bulls. I don’t serve bowls of flowers to tame oxen. I don’t set traps.

I cut across the length of the skin. I stretch out the whole skin. I secure the edges of that heap of shit who told me every day to stop going out in public.

I break his ribs and sink my hands into his lungs. Warm blood. Soft plugs of air. With hot fingers, I pull anemic red sponges from their comfort. I smear my fingers in pleasure.

– What shape is this cloud? And that one?

I pull the bones out without removing the flesh from them. I leave them heavy. Bones without flesh would be able to rest. These bones don’t deserve any rest. They offer themselves too much to pleasure.

The male did not resist sleep.

Passion needs a raging river to bring fear.

I leave this one aside. I want another one.

The males want my care the whole time. I give them bouquets twice a week. That’s what they want when they parade in front of me. I keep the skin to show it off. I throw away the bones for whoever still wants used meat. I play with the useless pieces until I get sick of them. I punch his bladder, stretch out his soft cock, mash up jam from his liver.

I give them pleasure. That’s exactly what they want.


What Males Want


Luciany Aparecida (Vale do Jiquiriçá, Bahia, Brazil, 1982) is a Brazilian author who writes using three different aesthetic signatures: Ruth Ducaso, Margô Paraíso, and Antônio Peixôtro, as well as her own name. She is the author of the books “Contos ordinários de melancolia” [“Ordinary tales of melancholy”] (2017), “Ezequiel” (2018) and the zine “Auto-Retrato” [“Self-portrait”] (2018). Her work has also appeared widely in anthologies and journals in Brazil. In English, her writing has appeared in Best Small Fictions (Sonder Press, 2019), Asymptote Journal (2019), and Becoming Brazil – New Fiction, Poetry, Memoir (Mãnoa, University of Hawaii Press, 2018). She holds a PhD in literature, and is a university lecturer in Brazilian literature and literary theory and criticism. Website: https://lucianyaparecida.art.br Instagram: @lucianyaparecida.

Sarah Rebecca Kersley (Cambridge, UK, 1976) is a British poet, translator and editor based in Brazil. Her translations of work by Brazilian contemporary writers have widely appeared in journals such as Washington Square Review, Two lines: World Writing in Translation, The Critical Flame, Asymptote Journal, Best Small Fictions, and The Denver Quarterly. She co-runs Livraria Boto-cor-de-rosa, an independent bookshop and small press dedicated to contemporary literature, in the city of Salvador, where she lives and works. Instagram: @sarahrebeccakersley.


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