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