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I sit drowned in the pit-stained couch

bog grey and stale like milk without sugar

sewn up and stretched over limp dust bunnies

only a man could pick out.

My thighs sticky kissing clutching wet my neighbors on this couch

I don’t know

I guess we are living.

Through thin smoke

3 men escort a velvet teenager

her black hair oiled stuck around her pretty face like spider’s legs

heavy-lidded in tight black small clothes

and big shoes like bowls.

They lean against the counter, elbows gummed with beer and spit

and swivel her by the chin in their frog hands

swallowing the rubies slipping through her half open eyes

her smile dripping slow like the blood of trees.

I hate teenagers, they scare me.

I watch the four of them, mostly three, make believe talking.

Her smile dripping, holding her chin,

when all they want is to fuck her, I think.

To share her or if not

to own her name,

and chew it into sand.

I think to clap my hands at her half open eyes slipping rubies

“Wake up!”

but I’m late.

One of the men takes out a gun

holds it to her spider leg forehead

one pokes a knife toward her stomach

one holds a licked match to her back.

The gun shoots

the knife stabs

the fire melts the threads of her tight black t-shirt.

She’s all fire and holes.

And I run.

I run down the boulevard

I run down the street

I run all the way home

I don’t breathe

I shut the door.

On the television

my parents watch

while somebody burns.

I can’t even hear what you’re saying

All I can think is you look like an animal

you look like an animal

and everyone looks too much like animals

it makes me sick.

And everyone is riding on creaky horses

made of sticks and straw and kitchen twine

and everyone is killing each other

and we are all killing each other

with plastic knives and swords and dirty stares

simpler things can kill you

like milk and licorice candy and burst veins

and microwaves and gluten and long-haired cats

and moldy tomatoes and laundry detergent and

you could drop dead on the subway on a Monday morning after your daughter’s wedding

on your way to work at your husband’s pharmacy

(your husband marries your best friend 3 weeks later)

And we are all waiting in the bathroom line

waiting to shit and waiting to die

hoping no one can smell your armpits or vagina or butterflied prayers

and some people wear spotted coats

and some people drink their lips grey

and some people piss themselves because it’s more polite than leaving the conversation

hoping talking will rewire your pondlike pulse

or at least get you a ticket for a glass of tap water

I’m in the living room

and I don’t know anyone

and I don’t want to know anyone

and no one wants to know me

but here we are talking anyway

and all I can think is how much you look like an animal

and everyone looks too much like animals

Some blue-faced girl

who looks like me

dresses like me

talks like me

talks at me

all kinds of bullshit

her neck’s long like a horse

her teeth are the smallest teeth I’ve ever seen

talks at me

with her big forehead

about how this summer is the hottest wettest dullest summer

filled with bugs

I’m nauseous

This girl drags on about the weather

I say, “I have cows to milk”

(even though I don’t)

I have to throw up

I have to throw up

I have to throw up

My chalky stomach swells up

tears through my red dress

A big tattered balloon

I push on it

push on it, push on it

But it won’t go down

It’s big like maybe I swallowed a person

I don’t know

I’m clean and I’ve never fucked.

but now the whole town thinks I did

they think I fucked greasy on the barn floor

my fingers deep in porridge

with pigs, lying in pig mud

they’re pointing fingers

at my big fat stomach

they think that they know me

I guess they call me slut whore Mary

The blue faced girl stops telling me the weather

it’s funny cause I’m really a big prude actually

I’ve never masturbated in my life

it’s not funny

cause no one tells me anything anymore

I lug my stomach into the forest

to rest on the dirt

my head grows long and thin and curved and sharp

my fish hook head is made of metal

my feet turn into spinning wheels

my small hands cradle my big balloon is crushed

my hands fall off and die

I’m all hook and wheels and rags

my empty balloon, my baby, hangs from my skirt

like a dirty old bag

I wheel around

mostly to go drink from the river

with the horses

and it’s funny cause now all the unwed unfucked virgins have big balloon


ripping through their dresses, too

they sulk around in their dark cloaks with their hoods pulled up over their long hair

and look down massaging their balloons, hoping to see their feet

and they are sad and they are sorry and they beg forgiveness with their puffed sticky eyes

but I don’t care much anymore

my fish hook hangs down

into the river

to drink with the horses

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