Something I remember really distinctly is the contours of your asshole. If you put your tongue as far into a sphincter as possible, as often as possible, you become a perverted kind of cartographer. Every rivet, every trench, every variation in color is forever etched in your despicable mind. If I were an artist and not a scribbler, instead of writing you this unsendable letter, I would produce a book of sketches and call it The Insatiable Topography of an Ass Eater. I would fill hundreds of pages with drawings and doodles of that favorite restaurant I used to call home. I would use those really expensive crayons professional artists have so I could blend all those different skin tones as perfectly as my memory allows; which, in the case of your asshole, is one hundred percent perfect.

Unfortunately, my fingers aren’t nearly as adept as my tongue, and The Insatiable Topography of an Ass Eater is an unsellable coffee table book that will never be. Instead, I’ll just have to write about it all in the unpublishable book Letters from a Heartbroken Pervert. In a better world, I would be able to churn out both, the drawings to accompany the letters; just like how in a better world, I’d have two tongues: one for your ass and one for your pussy. But alas, my biology is as imperfect as ever, and I’m left with only the power of the written word and a single tongue.


“I Can’t Draw” is an excerpt from Richard Power’s new memoir, Letters from a Heartbroken Pervert. You can purchase the book from Terror House Press here.