What was she thinking when she came in this morning to find the knives gone? Did she notice they were not in their usual spot on the marble kitchen counter next to the coffee maker? She probably came across them as she dusted the top shelf, where he stashed them last night, to keep me from carving my wrists, a clean cut down my arm, a thin cut across the chicken’s neck and grandma held the squawking thing over a plate of rice and bled it dry. When I couldn’t find the knives I turned to wine, bottle half empty and forgotten in the crisper, it tasted like vinegar. I emptied the wine in the sink and then elation! I smashed the glass against steel, cradled a shard in my palm, and foetus-form fell to sleep.
Don’t look at naked pictures of girls online
you know what you’re like
soon you’ll be closing your legs to life
saving up for surgery
have you forgotten what it feels?
to hang upside from a big tree
outside your grandmas kitchen as she
shells peas into a colander, feeling the late
sun on her neck and smiling that smile
you will never forget
something majestic in her grin
do you think she’d be pinching and comparing?
and a side
of rough edge
She came home early and caught him being fellated upon a sun-lounger beside their pool, his sun-kissed torso part hidden by a mass of blonde hair bobbing up and down as if guided by a metronome.
He pulled on his shorts as he listened to the screaming from inside the house that accompanied the ejection of his young lover. He sat on the edge of the pool, feet dangling in the water, and lit a cigarette. This time he might be in trouble.
He had partaken of extra-marital activity in the past- she had known of some, guessed at others, and was clueless about most. This was different, in that he had never been caught ‘in flagrante delicto’ as it were. Hell, she was no angel and had hinted at her own lovers; but why anyone would willingly stick their cock in that ice-bitch’s hole was anyone’s guess, he thought – your dick would freeze and drop off.
Fuck it, he thought, what’s the problem? Everyone does it these days, and if you’re not an adulterer then you are a swinger, or cuckold, or a cuckqueen, or a hot wife, or bicurious. Maybe you are wondering how it feels to have your ass filled with cock, while a t-girl’s nipples graze your shoulder blades. Whatever – it doesn’t matter how you get your rocks off, and if you do worry what society thinks of your kinks, then a guess says your sex life is fucking boring.
Their relationship was a joke, two high-sexed individuals who hadn’t been able to make each other hard or wet for years. He had seen the end of their relationship coming from a distance, and now it was up close and personal.
What he didn’t see coming was the blow to the back of his head. He sank to the bottom of the pool, hair splayed by the push-pull of the countercurrent, right-eye black balling and leaking pink into blue. She sat on the edge of the pool, feet dangling in the water, and lit a cigarette.
There’s nothing hotter
than an ex girlfriend
or a sweet piece of jazz;
than a best friend’s wife
or freshly crushed Xanax.
And at the end,
they’re all comparable
to a priest’s unholy love
for altar boys
and the valley girl’s false one
for sunset walks.
Eventually your mind will remember what it always was and always has; eventually the ontological yearning for its heart will emerge.
~paper and magazine hand cut collage
I waited for the man to come and fix my oven. I knew I should do other things. I sat on the couch, and I waited. I nearly fell asleep.
When he arrived he was a woman. I offered her a drink and sat back on the couch.
When she was done I looked at the table where I had put the tip. It seemed weird, so I didn’t give it to her.
It was a butterfly that drew Aisha’s gaze to the bus stop across the street, where her husband was leaning against a post with his back to her, facing a woman who was standing too close.
Aisha was invisible, on the other side of the road, inside a boutique shop, pondering a scarf.
She first saw the butterfly on a mannequin that wore a flowered dress. Later it was perched on a windowsill, staring outside. Aisha crept towards it, sat on her haunches, and watched its wings quiver in the air-conditioning. Then she found herself looking out the window too.
Aisha forgot all about the butterfly, and as she leaned in closer, her forehead slammed against the glass.
The sales person jerked her head in Aisha’s direction and Aisha waved her hand to say I’m sorry, I’m all right, please don’t fuss. The sales person turned away reluctantly, suspicious now that the woman in the head scarf would cause more trouble. She caught the eye of a fellow worker and shook her head.
Aisha continued staring out the window and watched her husband run a hand through his thick, black hair then lay it on the woman’s shoulder. He pulled her close and Aisha thought she saw him kiss the top of the woman’s bare head. Aisha felt a rage that was terrifying in its volume.
She reached inside her bag for her mobile phone, watched her husband pull his out of his back pocket, glance at the screen to see who was calling, raise a finger to the woman, then turn away to take the call. He was facing Aisha when he placed the mobile against his ear. He said hello, but Aisha could not respond.
He said hello, hello, Aisha, are you there? Then he hung up. She could see he was unnerved because he looked up and down the street and ran his hands through his hair again. Aisha’s own crept up her face and formed a cave over her mouth. ‘What were you thinking, bastard?’ she whispered. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and let the air out slowly. When she was empty, she straightened her shoulders and walked to the cashier with the scarf in hand. She pulled out a credit card and laid it on the counter in front of the clerk. Aisha turned her head sideways and looked out the window.
The clerk, who had been watching Aisha, scrutinised her face as she rang up her purchase. When she was about to wrap the scarf in paper, Aisha placed a hand on the fabric and said, ‘No, I’ll be wearing this.’ The clerk nodded and handed her the scarf with the credit card and receipt.
Aisha thanked her in a low voice and exited the shop. Outside, Aisha looped the scarf around her neck and thought of nothing.
This story was inspired by Josephine R. Unglaub’s My Butterfly, My Axe.
People don’t come to us randomly
We call them
Breathing the voice of wisteria
When cigarettes were outlawed, we sucked on our toes
Chanting chanting chanting
Addiction came early
Shaped like a restraint
Forged in wax
Sharp is the knife selecting prime cut
Heroes who grew old
receding hairlines pop-out teeth and gnarled feet
Men licking boiled wool
Strung coins jangle be found on the wind
Horizon of purpose
Surpassing the age she ended
Burned by spotlight smaller and smaller
Lay stones over the unspoken
Duel in applique
Signals searching wave length
Wings spread for framework
Wrapt by effort
How you reached this far then
By slipping feet
First the tragedy
Then the farce
It ends and it never ends
Theatre rich in masked gesticulation
Closing loops with string theory
Retina, red-faced in song of detatch
Blinks down the road in hopscotch
One foot landing in suckered punch
Posed for jumping
Do we jump?
(Image by http://www.fearfuladventurer.com)
i could never write for You –
epics of (cl)amorous grandeur,/
or golden, placating sonnets
that line each keystone of poetic canon./
but for You, Siren, i shall sing of a/
Love that escapes, like Water/
bursting loudly through the/
weathered, iron gates,/
of language, temporal,/
bound to the mettle that is/
Life, its confined mess, as/
its voice echoes, rattles, protests at/
but Ours belongs not in the cage: of versed lines: and rehearsed recitals,: the oratorios of aged, sage old men: who have attempted to pen: Our loving
that is the caress of cool, dewy finger tips,
on a sleeping, fevered forehead
the kiss of a warm wave, lapping against
tentative, daring toes
pushing gently, to open these
for Ours is of
the ebb and Hush.
the quiet yawn of waking
in the middle of the day,
when Love’s waters
stream in through dark curtains,
like a pink afternoon light
and bathe, drown
in the noiseless deep
of the Pull
and the Tide,
and like Our lovers’ conversation: the intercourse between: climax and release: We, as vast and as infinite as water,: belong not in the realm of:
in an ocean/
and the truth is, my Dear,/
i could never write for you, least –
of Love that is murky with/
Noise and words/
For that would be/
and Our Love is pure; it must remain untouched/
by the polluting invention of Man/
For such is the natural state of