He traced my name into my chest after he heard it, the e blazing across my ribs like a comet. On the dance floor, he grabbed my hips and kissed me.
“What’s that for?” I asked.
“For the stars in your eyes.”
a woman found an aniseed
among some withered recipes
inside: recumbent fantasies
Of gray days swelled with ecstasy
The War was over, but we didn’t know it yet. We threw bio-grenades into schools, blasted blindly into sick bays, screaming, panting, until word came through the ansible, but we are not posthuman. We return home with the rage still in our throats, our eyes searchlights.
I still feel that humid night on me. Back then our apartment perched above the sidewalk like a vulture; my head perched above my heart like a parrot. Just before you wedged that stupid laundry basket you use as a suitcase out the back door, you told me to stop messing with the frays of things, and I spent I don’t know how long on the rim of the bathtub. Early, early, I wandered outside. I found one of your button-downs wadded in the yard—still wet from its vagrancy. I took off my shirt, smoothed yours on my skin like lotion.
Alone in the cellar and without smokes, Mariusz builds sculptures from his collection of broken clocks. Soon a twitching army of snuffling pigs and pecking chickens surround him. The whirr of their oiled gears almost blocks out the blasts of bombs above.
(photo credit: Matt Katzenberger on flickr)
Leslie steals Jenny’s gum a millisecond before the pink bubble bursts onto glossed lips. Jenny sneers “that’s gross,” but later she tells her sister about the new girl in her class.
Leslie goes home happy that she caught the pretty girl’s attention.
The lit match arcs over the blighted carpet before landing gymnast-style on polyester. In the breath before the whole thing goes up, I somehow smell cedar, gasoline, my life before you. I jump on the motel bed to stomp out the flames.
Each page is a history of penmanship: the serifed letters made by phoenix quills, the alternate grace and blotch of fountain pens, the gaudiness of blue-inked BICs. My coven’s incantations whisper from the open book, learn more from us, oh cunning one.
My hands grip the harness tighter with each click to the top. As we dangle over the edge, you point to the camera, say “Don’t look too chicken,” then we drop full-speed on our futures and all we can do is scream.
My brother said my swollen head resembled a bowling ball; he threatened to stick his fingers in my sockets and carry me to an alley. Then the doctor grabbed tweezers and told me to hold still, which only made me howl louder.