Your Wife Will Never Find (Out)

[[Open Door Policy]]

April’s Smog

Slandering to the backyard, posing behind the black mesh curtain, Eliza is dressed for synagogue.  A pause, a prelude to disrobing, to shedding the curtains and biting into a white bread sandwich.  The girl embroidered her mother’s silk vest and shook the burning ash of incense and candle from her blouse.  A lick of smoke ran from the silk when a coal ate the fabric like a worm.  It plucked eliza’s chest.  It left a mark on her skin, the nippling flame, and the mark emitted an odor

 

Violent sniff, once abandoned, venerated in flesh

Imbibed by left nostril of a girl donning red hair, no freckles whatsoever, a pair of brown leather bracelets.

 

Eliza’s thin provision of womanhood had been crafted by an even sterner, less curious nurse during the early years of her childhood.  Falling repeatedly beneath blows of thick-gripped chains and rulers (on slightly more auspicious occassions), the little boy-child had tossed correct spoons into a deep steel trashcan, which also held abandoned baby teeth, too dull or brown for the nurse’s superior tastes in enamel.  Eliza could never execute the placement correctly.

Metronomic: materials inserting their tips into Eliza’s delicate male substance

Animal refuge, vessel of bone.  Teeth at the gnash for gristle.  Minaret, knock-kneed keystone, knuckled, non-entity of nocturnal submission.

Nurse hoarded affection for the nearly-finished disciple.

She would be exalted as copy

The shielded docent foretasted her pupil each morning.  She was set to arrive and announce her presence at 6:00am by blowing a small golden penny whistle which hung from the backyard shed.  Seated in the house, perpendiculated, glued with horse hooves into an abject shortcut highway between crown and anus, the nurse consumed nothing at her lectern.

 She tasted waiting

Waitress, Eliza, gilded forest archetype licked her lips only in sequestration (red-wetter, always nonsexual).  Privacy, any old filthy room with empty basins and no plush surfaces.  Knowing that fantasy coveted plush surfaces and could no longer keep itself silent, Eliza drew a parlour in her filthy-room-diary:

Eliza’s Private Journal

[Chapter 2: The Parlour]

“No plush surfaces inside.  Do windows elucidate? I SHUT THEM!

The shape of my architecture is meaningless, is cylindrical.  That is to say, my parlour is a cylinder.  In the eye of the white-tiled basin a large slotted drain sulks as a coin resting in the bottom of a chalice.  Silver, the drain, THIS IS NOT A FANTASY.  This is real life, my Private Journal.

Parlour Floor Tiles: each white sculpture is a gently hollowed bowl with ridges lending a hexagonal shape.  I designed the tiles to reflect the contours of pores on my sister’s broken nose.  The bone now looks like a bent teaspson.  My Parlour is also a private memorial. Each tile is coated with yellow table wax, stolen from my dying father’s workshop.

Crawling the perimeter of the empty column Parlour, I asked my fingers to prepare each hollow tile  for the nurse’s surprise inspection, scheduled to rattle Fantasy during Saturday’s imminent blood moon.  Today is Saturday.  I will insert the date when I’ve finished the tiles.  There are 3,215 tiles in all.  With each creamy dip into a white wax bucket I incant my sister’s name until it means nothing more than shape.  The name is not a word or a shape. Her name is the flesh-venerated scent of our shared mother’s silk vest, eaten by a coal after synagogue on a Sunday.

My fingers are the only part of my body that behave.  I am in training still, which I find humiliating.

While crawling, my elbows slipped on some oil, sending my body rolling from the arched edge of the room and into the center, plugging the drain with the small of my back.  When sealed, the floor distends upward, filling from beneath with my sister’s Name.  My animal spine, hairpinned, wringing out, vibrating to a rattle of stiff glued vertebrae, breaking like ceramics; inverted until my feet suspend.  Hung meaty joints, my knees were heavily scarred from previous inspections from my nurse.

[the moon, rising.  the glass, dying itself]

I have lost the memory of how to place the teaspoons on a table setting.  Usually, I am throwing  them into: Negative steel cans in my no plush Parlour

Curved windows are installed in place of crown molding about 30 feet overhead, encircling a frosted-glass ceiling, heaving with nothing.  Spare panes are arranged into a mosaic to let light perform into my Parlour, lending the appearance of a prison or schoolroom where children hoard themselves like expensive jewels or stringed bags in a pewter teapot.

I’m hoarding myself inside the Parlour, drain suckling my half-moon.  Private, it’s a gag.”

Shadowing itself, the nurse’s hand erupts from fluted black velvet and hovers above the circular glass skylight.  It is blacklit by the boiling moon.  The orb patiently cycles its way to hover center-stage; pushing through black sand. performing.

Eliza, draped atop the indoor mound hill of lubricated tiles, breathing odor.  She trusts these objects and their odd behaviors.  When the hand enters, Eliza is quivering, clutching a golden teaspoon over her chest.  Dusky pellets of perspiration, desalinated, accruing between boyish breasts.  A drain does not emerge there.  She does not need help.

ejaculating, Eliza the Timepiece, learning to be exalted

[the nurse steers a fingernail across the glass circle]

Eliza speaks: “your expectations raped Fantasy; exposed the plush surfaces of my internal errant forest hunter.  It was me wearing stretched leather pants.  The seam suspended my genitals and chafed a line of blackness into their assailable cloaks; their vulnerable and loved plush surfaces.  Without Fantasy, I am always pretending to be safe.  I am always pretending to be external, to be male.”

A blood moon, afflicting, melting the pane as the nurse’s severe hand infiltrated the Parlour.

The hand was preparing to teach.

Down the cylinder’s throat, Eliza hopes vulnerable:

Exalted Copy, She

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DIAGNOSED WITH A

TERMINAL

MENTAL

ILLNESS

Red Mouth Wetting the Surface of a Marble:  Teeth, Steel Tablets.

 

Dressed as anxious girls, we were preparing to mount the frayed wooden railing.  Morning rouses our gowns into white submission during the downstairs worldly stench of frying meat which we refuse to enter.

[Our Shared Bedroom at Dawn]

 

Four-poster beds, mirrors reflecting in fashion the fragility of day and night light.  Mary, cocooned in woolen blankets devoted a few songs to me.  I had no songs; was blind to the scriptures and dictations of the empty bathroom.  Precious girl, golden thread-spun whipping at stiff ear canals dripping with wax.

I watch my sister.

I watch my sister.

I watch my sister.

I watch my sister.

I watch my sister.

I watch my sister —            wake at day break

I watch

 

Her two pupils shaking behind paper veils

Quiet suns, those pink eyes

Gloomy in my bed, blankets shorn and harming my ankles

 

My first recollection of eroticism took place that morning.  It was a nervous spring, the dogwoods shy in their half-obi kimono robes, biding time for release.  We clamped each others’ noses, fearful of any scent but our own birth fluids.  We pressed our beds closer in the center to enable a closer reach–

I smell my sister at daybreak.

Her taste was interrupted by whiffs of liver frying in a pan below our cube chamber.  The smoke entered through gaps in the floorboard our father forgot to fill while renovating the entire home in 24hours because he was a maniac.  Mother was ashamed of our embryonic love.  Was wagging a wide metal spatula, opposite hand cocked on her fleshy hip (she wished the hand was really a gun pressed into father’s mouth, between rows of plastic teeth, sliced with spit)

Prison Girl Gaining Knowledge

a whisp slid from beneath our white cotton bedskirts

it was shaped like a plate and it travelled like a puppet

the ghost lingered above Mary’s morning-light chest, exposed in anti-gown

it stuck there, just hung as if it too

felt overwhelmingly shy

disabled by the moment of eroticism I too was puzzling blushed from inside my scalp no genitals could survive here

 

Her skull was luxuriating in the ghost’s infatuation.  My baby blanket in shred across the bottom of my pee-on mattress.  Pee-on mattress, INDEED.  The breakable ridge of Mary’s nose laid picnic beneath my fingers; tips pressed into her nostrils and triggered those parted sipping lips just sipping lips lipping me.  Counting her openings became a mountain.  She released MY nose, the bitch

 

[I inhaled her ghost]

Mary’s Face: An Instrument

I practice It: valves, brass rods, orange-seal pads, keys, no idea whatsoever how to play it

              she lets me finger a song by placing my palms over her eyes

Darkness: her mouth, falling open and tilting toward my breasts…gasping, I hope.  I will play the melody we wrote by learning how to french kiss our lips EVEN if the room lost our scent.  It smells like oil in here now.   The slick releases my hands, Mary’s mouth snapping closed and away from my breasts.  I released her eyes before that.

Red Mouth:  Marble Settled into My BellyButton.

it is burning a hole down a pipe and into my clitoris

I watched her with the slotted spoon, a tube of smoke wrapping around and shedding blonde hair to the tiles below her feet.   A bale of hay accumulated around her broken ankles.  Naked neck in the shape of a elbow pipe (she was crooning I was crooning)

Emma, discovering a novel 

Surprised nor ashamed, she attended the ball wearing the full garb of a man.  Rummaging through father’s chest of drawers, her talons etched into the wood:

The men went out hunting again.  Quivers and bows to pierce a nest of brown rabbits. Scorched blood on the new morning straw.  Five males in all, they swarmed the belly of an oak and spit onto the bark. It was an awful masquerade ill-suited for the youth.  Liver, unfurled ribbon.  Perfume-bottle hearts erupting, searing into ignored pages of their journals.  Dearest diaries.  Autumn engorged their throbbing cocks as the wood peeled from the shaft of acorn mother and each knew they were rapists.  My father was among them, the masked animals protected with slick oil.  He wore the faintest corsage beneath his clothing, sewn into his black chest hair.  I stitched the leaves of a gardenia into the mess, weeping for another fallen victim of masculinity.  Other animals received the same medicine, gagging on tears and sloppy noses while their daughters donned golden thimbles and pressed the metal caps cold onto their useless nipples.

Eliciting the awful humiliation of coddling a man, Emma pushes the steel pot of boiling water onto her own chest.  Dissolving, the perfect suit, crisp bow-tie, loosened cummerbund, leather gloves, mirrored shoes, fell into a wet pile in the center of the kitchen.  All gone now: she found the corsage pinned to her sorry pink nipple.  Throwing the spring-loaded door ajar, Emma circumcises her finger and casts the golden cap into the failing outdoor bush.  Waiting in a frame, unarmed child.

Spilling a viscous liquid, the thimble alights in an empty tin can wrapped with a label faintly displaying yellow letters,

“VanCamp’s Beanee Weenee”

Before expiring on the bathroom floor the previous year, her father had filled the can with a sample of fresh-coast oysters.  Quivering in salt slurry, southern aromatics, pinched note of the man’s childhood coronet, tangled tire swing rope,  the thimble dissolved

 

into flashback.

into acrid sneers of un-ripe summer quince

into cacophony of lawnmower blade chewing a misplaced cinder block

into milk, orange juice, or water?

into discovery of eating ordered ribs wrapping baby sister’s lungs

 

into a shitty tin can full of rotten seafood offending the entire neighborhood after the family evacuated by way of divergent sewers.

 

 

You slip, echoing onto the hardwood floor.  In the trap door, your father is storing a rejected son

You slip.  Wind tunnel presses into your pupils, small pet flies

A twitch in your lover’s so-thin neck plucks a rope, secured around your failing ponytail and streams a pathetic tone

Together, even, is not enough while you are slipping down the wall, expecting to land in —

 

Clawfoot bathwater has soured and grown cold

He pulled his body from the pool to wander, self-medicate nude and alone

A towel he used to scrape the grassy dirt from his chest is leaning its weight into the white whicker chair

You’re hawking again.

Shelling

We he finishes: milky ejaculate latticed across the salmon pink walls

You have to prepare the memory objects before he finishes.  Rush, for you’re living in a cube with time set to speed-thru;

Emptying bottle drops white capsules onto the mattress where his fragrant hair will fan out, still plush still warm

 

Walk into the kitchen now.  See that the dishes are left from supper, clinging madly to the fat residue of a red roast.  Granite, a cautious microscope that he installed for your mother, framing towering steel appliances

And now you’re going to empty a bag of refined flour onto that microscope.  Dare you

You’re going to sop up the ruins, little prince

Raw is the porcelain sink, a definitive glimpse into molecules of saliva ejected from the tongue of a dying Lamb

 

“But I love you.  I’ll be seeing you in spring, children”

 

Be not deceived, little one, your blanket is tattered.  Shorn as grass-dirty hair.  You’ve grated it between your four fingers while nursing the chafed thumb.  No one is going to wash the rag.  No female can purge the spittle from its web or mend the frayed borders.  The small father is in the living room hogging the affection of mother bird.  Yellow beak, sprawled, thrown agape and begging with empty stomach tube-tied

You will beg forever, small prince

For this, no one is sorry

The dirty rag shorn is YOUR curls

The white whicker chair has been tossed into a vaporous glob outside

& the neighbor is foaming, waiting to have your bones when the roast dishes are clean

 

So, then, how are your objects?  Everyone knows but you, princess.  We think you’re filthy.  It’s your job to prove us wrong

 

List: twelve tangerines, set into an arc, facing my brown boots.  the objects are resting on a round coffee table.

Too, a plate

She is sliding nearer on the couch, estimated time of arrival when the wooden chair flips onto its own stiffness.  I’ll step forward to erect the mast.  She won’t want me to go.

The plate, weighed down with gray cheese while I remove my sneakers and place them beside Her bedskirt.  We are sitting by the fire once more, listening to the repeated drone of flies outside the wind licked door.  Her knees are coming apart into an unmistakeable and rather luxurious lounge.  Rather large lounge now I’m sweating.

Our couch is soaked, heavy with salt water.  The cat is scraping our toes.

Women cannot understand me OR my obscenities.  It seems that they do not want to.

The hollybush, oozing smoke outside my window.  Slouched, naked, sweating, I look across the brown horizon of pages before me.  

Book cover, luminescent panel screen shields ghastly limp breast plate.  

Sunshine whipping Rumpelstiltskin straw curl voice.

Banish the man from your bedroom to sit outside the door, floor-ridden, pawing at the sex barrier

 

Smoke is pouring from the bush.

 

I thought to step outside and sniff the fuming bramble, but decided to remain in my chair as I’d been instructed.  My own fumes are toxic for a wet minute, growing damper when I slide my ass further forward.  She is inching closer across the golden upholstery, the chair offset impressively onto two trunk legs.

[empty chairs are wielding their heavy potentials]

A whisp of the white stuff rose upward outside the window; another followed, slightly mishapen, gaily released.  Vapors stroked the red berries which swiveled from awful stems.  Leaves, the inverted platters; domes inhaling smoke into their fertile cages.  The tension of white dust hoaxed my eyes perfectly:

I imagined a beetle crawling across the surface of stench

 

Those needles pricked my post-vacation arms in childhood, dotting my school books with girlish blood.  Friends.

Crested, private, spinning webs from my golden throne, I am.  What an ignition!  Fuel, oxidant, the immature being outside.

 

I am always content to remain petrified indoors so please don’t invite me over because, frankly, I find your ropes irresistible and I cannot be trusted with my own two hands.

 

 

 

 

Old Tick Tock won’t let up the drag. The Bastard caught that eternal disease…the kind that backs little faggots like me into the locker for a lick of abuse.

Woodpeckers, chained, poised behind slavery doors are enviable slaves.  Father, their tried and fearful mistress. [There is no reason to exit]

My hair has fallen out completely and beneath it I found the five missing pills.

 

TRUST ME.  WE WANTED IT TO DIE.

My sisters rattled the sand from their t-shirts, the plastic bags we were preserving with cubes of sugar and clean hot water.  Mary was not wearing panties beneath her night gown: the worn and blue one we stole from grandmother’s bureau. Spinning in damp cabin living room, we were insane Kings and the ocean was complaining right outside our doors.

 

She: “May I see what you’re hiding under there?”

 

The tide was attracted to us, bastard faggots. A pot was warming over a blue flame in the next room while the walls became flavored with propane and clam dirt. Through the shattered windowpane, we drooled over a distant lighthouse.  Our room answered back with an even colder light.

 Mary eats the opportunity of silence:

 

Peddling backwards into the center of the earth (room hosting fearful animals)

Fingers (seizing tentacles) gathering the warm and blue hem

She takes two handfuls of the bag

Our backs are ignoring her, heating all the way up now

 

I set a black Polvo record on the dock and switch it on slower than I ought to.  I adore my sisters. Sometimes I make up rules for them to break!

 

Rotating, carved by a harsh pin needle,

Mary the Axis.

She uses my body to remain balanced while practicing pirouettes with her hair down.  I am so spotted, so wet and weak.

 

OK, I must remain very still for her now

ONLY, I would like to crawl closer

TO, have my orange face calloused by the vortex locks

THEY, are meticulous whips

OR, might be unloyal to her scalp

AND, take split roots into my upper lip

THE boyish cheek

ADORNING and & making sister absurd auntie brother He

 

IT HAPPENS

 

Sister heaves me from the balcony.  Briefly, I am falling perfectly, loving myself, coming repeatedly in the wind.

 

I accidently alit.

 

Me, a traitor of the familial sex, naked seaside, pale, halfway submerged, a shameful man, gums bleeding while my too-soft fangs scrape mud from the rocks.   My sisters smell our DNA, spilled.  They break the house, run to me, tumble into my black tar bath and begin kissing my open palms through tears.  A periwinkle crawls into my —-

 

To us, the distant lighthouse is a trusted sun. Precisely paddling toward THOSE stones, the male versions of myself & sisters are nothing more than, drowning, clumsy, forfeiting, incredibly inverted, overturned, upset piles of

 

Moon Spit

 

Suspended metal bowls in a warm sink full of stolen China

Mother is washing us like the breakfast dishes

Because we’re filthy

 

We cannot keep from lifting our dresses in church

to boast the evidence our very FIRST, very REAL-LIFE, very SAME GIFTED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just fucked.  Just yellowed, just try donning my wrist.

Try it

 So very out of control.  So very bare.  So very mommy ANSWER THE DOOR?

bones are stretching.  Pungent pressure of her eyes

Unpacified and vulgar is his life.

Throw the suitcase through a window

There is not enough to sabotage.

 

You werent’ watching my lips.  At the time I thought.  I thought about my lips. 

 

Yellow tangled bits of fur.  Fell onto the cold and frozen grass.  I knew the whole time. I knew what you were doing.  But you always, always said “no”.  This is not for children and you will always be a child.  You weren’t watching me and so I crept around the door – peaked into the kitchen and oh yes oh yes I saw you, she was bent over the table and you were bent over her.  It felt so warm in there.  It smelled like wet things in there.  I guess I’m also warm and wet.  But what I saw today made me cry very warm and very wet tears.  

 You were right.  This is not for children.  It will never ever be.

 

And I wish I wasn’t a child.                       [Anymore]

 

 

AND REALLY IT DOESN’T MAKE ME SAD.        IT’S GIVNG ME A HEADCAHE

 

Nausea for hours…I’d rather spend my whole life craving you

Wooden and metal bits all left scars on my arms

 

When weren’t they carrying me?  They would carry you too, the girl who asked for me last week. The heavy burden of her torso.

 

Would they move on?  Chunk of flesh and bones, needing so intensely to be patted dry with a towel.

 

As you can see, I am: Locks.  Chains.  Guns. Muscles.  Feminine hand. Upon my neck.

As you can see, I am:

Egg cups: blue and empty.

 

This makes me tired; makes me so very sick sick sick sick sick sick.  Body feels so very awful from being chased

 

I will let my children rest when I release them from my pussy.  There wont be a man, I’m not sorry.

 

I know what I want: courage, chastity, safety ALL OF THEM Like unmet friends: they are calling my name

 

Which street to turn?  I can hear them.  Atleast they are there, the children of my hardened cock.

 

 

 

You werent’ watching my lips.  At the time I thought.  I thought about my lips. 

 

Yellow tangled bits of fur.  Fell onto the cold and frozen grass.  I knew the whole time what you were doing.  But you always, always said “no”.  This is not for children and you will always be a child.  You weren’t watching me and so I crept around the door – peaked into the kitchen and oh yes oh yes I saw you, she was bent over the table and you were bent over her.  It felt so warm in there.  It smelled like wet things in there.  I guess I’m also warm and wet.  But what I saw today made me cry very warm and very wet tears. 

 

You were right.  This is not for children.  It will never ever be.

 

And I wish I wasn’t a child.

 

Anymore: Unfold.  Rerobe.  Disbrobe. Rerobe.  Press my fingers into it.

 

Infatuation with femininity that could scale me.

Infatuation with your satin brushing my face.

Infatuation with carrying you slowly to the tepid water

Infatuation with sealing you away.

 

All I’ve ever known.

 

I want to be your man because it seems that I cannot be your woman.

 

 Still, for you, I’d wear one.

 

 

 

 

Is she still—

untamed, mistaken for a female on the beach with foam and ragged empty soup cans with the lids your mother always worries over when you’re opening some cream of mushroom soup to spoon-feed your father (little mess) who is wearing a napkin as a bib, tucked over his red satin bow tie which has come slightly loose, but it’s ok because you are 13 and

know how to re-fasten it without pinching his fleshy chin gobble, scarred from the scalpel he used to erase visible cues to his own

male puberty,    ?

which you know all about because Mrs. Hunter revealed that disgusting image on the overhead projector of a strange network of bags that you thought looked like some really bad plumbing or a bunch of confused tubes and cans, kind of like if the one you are holding now were to be melted and deformed by the blaze

you threaten to light in your parents’ room if they don’t start screaming

about whether or not your mother is going to take away the children, move them out to the Arabian Horse Ranch

where he can’t find them,  where they will, for the first time, pull eggs from under a white hen, don his college blue jeans in summer and mar their hands on the fine old blackberry bushes; first sun hat and entire head of autumnal hair, woven into the soybeans by a lawnmower each Sunday.

COUNTRYSIDE PLEASURES

where they  willingly regress

where they can lift their skirts, release their selfish truths

where the twins can suspend their secret clothesline in the forest 

and drink vodka beside a fire, naked, slouched in camping chairs

panties discarded onto the dirt floor below while the garment’s owners

marveled at the the hidden ritual of exposure and the pornographic sameness of their inner thighs

[stacks of origami undergarments I made for the man, all gone now]

…but we left behind Old Gray Cat behind and the Winston Bone China!

Ruth’s stash of gin and whole can of varnish for the single-cut oak table

the wilting gardenia, yard vacuum, steel pool hall notices, old saloon piano, deluge of oil paintings depicting  ancestors who would favor an antagonist always

grandfather’s whale harpoons, red-liquid storm glass barometer, the stentorian metal dental chair where I once bit  sister during a game of…

[dentist that I loved was gone too]

oatmeal made with warm cream, brown sugar,  quince jam from the failing outdoor bush —

Still, I can only cry when thinking about how

he still made love to her

that their sex was still sex; that the image Mrs. Hunter showed of his really bad plumbing

.fit.

right into her really bad plumbing, right into —   I always wished mother could hate him like I did.  

Like a bed full of dirt.  Like how I could never figure out how to best hide tampons in the bulging pockets of my khaki cargo shorts at school.

When we sat on the porch under the countryside moon, I rubbed her back to the rhythm of “Si Tu Te Vas”.  An August sky hated us, navy blue, and the whole event was completely insignificant.  My sisters, her daughters, were off tempting red demons — wrapping themselves around other men.

Do they know that Mother cried in front of me that night on the wooden porch?

That the phone was alive in her palm?

That the back of her hand rested  atop her shaking knee?

That I could still smell the manure they left for me to shovel alone after school?

That she wore the pink bathrobe beyond her sacred bedroom where only daughters were allowed?

That she, marked with a fresh cry, had never looked so exquisite —

not a mother at all.

 [still, I could not look away from the empty lap]

Our Father was trapped inside a circle of plastic holes, praying to the only real God I had ever known.  He vomited the  Nicene Creed, spat between each slur, curse, each damnation of himself to hell: he was gasping so much panic, I was sure he’d die right then and there, miles away seated alone on the nanny’s bench and staring at our empty beds.

Pause.  this mess makes me cry too because it was all so

little; so  completely navy-blue-sky-last-pack-of-ramen-insignificant.  

Hell is a sky-blue house with no women inside.

Hell is that god damn recliner when there wasn’t any hope left.

Hell is his inability to go sooner than he did.

If mother asked, I would kill her tonight.  I never make the same mistake twice.

It began, AWFUL NOISE    :    Another Man, Another Funeral

or Parade of Benign Children:  Victims, also, of Masculinity

It ended with  knees, packed on caps of bloody dirty and an irregular finger shoved into my mouth.  Word choice, word choice, word choice you demented bitch–

[she slings me across her lap, face-down into the sand box.  I am wearing white stockings, unzipped red skirt (metal in back), black blouse with the Doleman sleeves; blush and hairpins: the unintentional parasites.  She has a brown leather saddle strapped around her knees, cradling my gut while I inhale the rubble below]

Of course it is humiliating.  

Eliza: “It’s time to play a game, Rachel!  Can you hear me from down there with your face in the sand?”

I: “I am no longer afraid of you, woman.  While you were away sailing with  Vile Men, I travelled to your house in a suit and touched all objects inside.  It’s true: my fingers anointed your belongings with my oil.  Therefore, you have no more secrets and can no longer hide yourself from me.  I wore your dresses and put my dirty feet into your bed.  Let me up from your lap now!”

In the center of our sandbox, a drain releases its seal.  A sinkhole opens directly beneath us as we scratch at the wooden walls; are afraid of dying; are still very in love.  Eliza begins to cry, which ends the box’s intolerable leaking.  Male tears are a valuable ore (which means they are worth a lot of money; we adore money).  The stockings are ruined, but I don’t notice because my wife is spanking me through sobs.  Euphonious melody, marking time and

 crescendoed reddening of  girlish flesh, cut with a layer of course salt between palm and cheek

memorizing each masterful note; each downbeat; each excruciating pitch forward and back; each thrust of my pelvis into the saddle; with charred smack and hospitable blow, Eliza is saving my life.

Eliza crammed a wildflower into my left ear before whispering a poem into it:

The Blue-Eyed Eskimo

[and]

Whether men can live off protein alone

In fact, my mother died when He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named was throwing

[a party which was a Prelude to Slaughter] for an

imbalance of feminine hand, quail egg,  insufferable drone of the

Austrian cuckoo with nosy moon scraping across a woman’s parted lips

dribbling warm water onto her own exposed breasts

you, my darling, are cream-top yogurt, fresh snow, my long-lost silk shirt

rediscovered, found dusty beneath the couch where I masturbated and came for the very

first time in spring.

Ceremoniously, we entwined. We couldn’t keep from leaking as darkness descended, flushing the dirt from our knees, the sand from our mouths, and salt from our palms.  We shared the cold bath: a sleep spent outdoors while animals, busied with their nighttime rituals, looked on and admired the subtle rise-and-fall of our emaciated female chests.