Jenny ran her hands around the smooth leather of the steering wheel as she turned into Pollston Avenue. She switched the radio to DeepKiss FM and listened to Stevie Nicks for a bit, then began to flick between radio dramas and weather reports. She checked out her lipstick in the front mirror, and fixed it up a bit at the creases of her mouth, scooping the red paste with the underside of her nail. She drove her Buick up onto the corner of Grensham Street and pulled out a smoke, taking a minute before immersing herself in the acrid, vinegary smell of new denim. She had been working at Blackwood Denim for only just shy of two months, and yet she still struggled to get that coppery whiff of industry out of her clothes. Hell, even out of her underwear. She often wondered quite how she managed to get it down there.
Browneston was a pip-squeak of a town, that sat comfortably just a stone’s throw away from the coastline. On her evening shifts, Jenny could make out the flicker of bonfires on the beach, and by the time she clocked out the howling midnight winds hurled themselves all over Browneston, shaving the coastline and throwing a blanket of night over the beach huts. A star-studded blanket, glistening gems in the sky.
The space he occupies is narrow, barely wider than his shoulders and stretches before him as far as he can see. Intuitively he understands this space, this thread, belongs exclusively to him, but had he been able to look from above, he would see the spaces of others, parallel and intersecting his own, in an infinite grid.
His space stretches between a series of glass doors, each of unremarkable width but as high as he can see. The door closest has gold numbers coruscating, which he recognizes as time. THE time immediately preceding the decision which led him here. He could choose this door, the door that would allow him a different outcome to his final decision, the decision to avoid the child in the road that led to his fatal accident. By entering this door, he could go back, avoid his accident, and trade the child’s life for his own, but he has no compunction over this decision. He walks past, and the door vanishes.
Lovers at the Table
You’re coarser than I expected. Thick-
skinned, bristly, almost scaled.
You told me to be contrary
so I’ve practiced by screaming.
My voice has changed, rough-edged
& more brutal. There’s
in my belly
that you can’t quite kill—
I don’t know its name, but it’s shaped
like a four-legged animal (more…)
what i’m saying
is a lie: you brought a guillotine
to my bedroom
& told me
a long story about a girl
by a cistern, inhuman. i asked
if it was the cistern
or the girl that
was not human & you (more…)
came home early to throw up the mice in my stomach
and wash the hairs down the sink
I’m not what you thought I would be
the same in the half-dark
lighting fires at the Narva Gate
stuffing diamonds into my bodice
it’s so fucking nice outside and still
there are splinters in my veins
stare me down while I wait
so patient it scares me
I’ve turned you into a mythical creature
sun sign of december
doing ok (more…)
Anne betrayed coincidence,
for good-hearted individuals)
just kept lusting,
made negative, open
promises quite righteously;
stood tall under Valentine’s watch;
X-factors you’ve zoned. (more…)
It was fairly torn already when I got it. I dusted it off and ran my fingers along the shreds poking out from the aorta. It kicked back, weak and barely regular, a sweet heartbeat. It was felt, and the pulmonaries were cheap velvet, but it would work. I needed function, not luxury. How much? I asked the shopkeep and he said eight dollars. I argued down to five, paid him and left. Walking down the road, the thing in my pocket, caressing it with two fingers like a lover’s palm, I was so excited it blistered my skin. I usually saw people looking at me, noticing my gait or the shift to my eyes and recognizing dissimilarity, but today there were none. I was one of them, or on my way to it. They must have known.
Someone’s blowing a leaf blower. On and on for hours. The sound drives me out of my mind.
A few blocks down, the construction crew has blocked the whole street. They’re setting up new traffic signals. A bunch of men in crane-like things. I stand on the sidewalk, in the sun and noise, watching the work. I eat a tub of popcorn as I watch.
It’s not my fault. I’ve been hungry for a while now. A long, long time. The freezer has been full to capacity – for months – but I can’t bring myself to open it. Not a failure of nerve! It’s just that I like thinking about it, full as it is, the organs lolling inside it, tongue over toe over eye, over kidney, over spleen, over kidney again, there were many of those, a much confused mess.
I buy icicles. I eat these in the sun. I love it when the sugar drips on the sidewalk.
Don’t look at me like that. (more…)
Big Apple Blues
Like a heartbreak, or a montage,
As you pass me by, and refuse to see me
In the market streets, or on the subway.
I’m new here,
And New York is killing me too;
There’s not a soul willing to call my name,
Or to even accidentally stub my toe on. (more…)
*inspired by Sylvia Plath’s classic poem “Lady Lazarus”
i have done it again
once a day,
a sort of walking miracle, my skin,
look at my wrist, about ten
my middle finger
my body clothed in supreme
peel off the layers of autotune
do i terrify?
or do the rooftops i jump from come back to haunt me? (more…)