Clear straw of orange soda hair beneath the Christmas microscope. In the bedroom they analyzed a stool sample smeared onto a glass plate while my sister counted coins in the next room. My forehead rattled the brass card table when I lost control of my bladder. They would not let me near the eye piece, whisked the Baby Sister into the closet next to the black filing cabinet full of documents and my horrible preschool artwork. Our winter clothes, creased in zippered bags, rubbing my shoes. Sister spit into the cave, slid the panel shut and let me have my darkness.
I eat my darkness alone, ten years, enough hate to fill a ship. What an unlucky child am I.
There has been talk about closets here – in the living room, on days off, during church. I’d be ill advised to exit this one now. My closet, an abused privilege that many of my peers do not possess. Father launched me into it (desirable severed gaze; undeveloped breasts and worrisome immaculate conception), hung me by my starched boy collar on a crumbling nail. Never a child to fight, I accept my hanging. I suffer from illnesses that cause delusions of my sister as the perfect idol – she is constantly abusing me, which proves her celebrity.
A yellow throw pillow shouted to me through the murk:
Softest Pillow: (respiratory) “my mouth is full of cotton because of your mother who fashioned me from the skirt your sister donned the day of your baptism. Therefore, my suffering belongs to you, bitch. I am miserable – come over here and touch my misery”
My limbs are exposed fledglings, frantic to free their mother from a metal hook.
laundered between warm pleats of matriarchal quilts
white rope, untouched
basket of shoes, emptied onto the lawn
[sunny church pew in the front hall obscured by our leather school bags]
At last, I’m disposed onto the wooden floor. I am crawling, dragging my sleeping feet, mewing for the Yellow Throw Pillow. I need to put my cheek on her. I am very blind and very stupid, nauseated and free. A tone plays from the corner toward which I am writhing – a yellow square illuminates:
Yellow Square: ____—– ======!
She is handsome; odorous flower. [I press on]
Trailing black behind my hips, I escape the angry nail and suffer into the corner to be beside the pillow. That pillow is glowing sexually. Oh my god, and it is so sexual. Of intimate, erotic, fleshy, horrific, nature, the dulling and brightening roars into my sagging genitals. Organs are disobeying my command once more. Mother says it is a common problem for ten-year-old babies.
Softest Pillow: “I am using my sex as a magnet! You now realize that you are fated to a life of being a whore”
[I tear the nail from the wall of my secret closet and destroy the baptized pillow with it]
Piercing the skin with my Survival Knife, THEN I bleed into the white sponge, abandoning my poison. Shreds of golden fabric are heavy across my crossed knees while I rape the object. When my sacrifice hears of its own inadequacy, he——
[set of fingertips rattle and dismantle the closet door, rescinding my darkness and exposing the work I’ve done]
Father witnesses the act as I recall my age: I begin to weep, BEG the man to lift me from the chaos that I invented. Shame on me. I am being rescued once more by a man who covets my infancy —
The Arm, however crushed, however deceitful, remembered precisely how to wash the milky chin of its tremulous offspring.
My skin, tickled; relentlessly unable to eliminate the memory of it.