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Emily means to wrench the notebook away but sees the bartender watching. She imagines being kicked out. She couldn’t bear that ending. Not while the sun’s still up. Charles Bukowski already claimed that idea. The writer doesn’t know how to explain the things she does. But she’s incomplete and in enemy hands. She feels obligated to defend herself. She searches her store of words, but she’s had too much to drink. “It’s supposed to be about, I’m not good at explaining, it’s just.” Emily’s a mouth of asbestos. Rats squirm under her skin. The pores on her brow choke on their own grease and continue to spit out more, more, more in rapport with her palms and back. Marcus kicks Helen out on the street. She leaves crying. He jerks off thinking about the strange woman he was dreaming of before Helen kicked him awake. X is sick of reading. “I have no idea what’s happening,” she whines. The girl of Helen’s dreams steps out of the closet, her nightgown soaked in menstrual blood, and fingerbangs Helen. Marcus watches and tries to pleasure himself but can’t. The blood won’t follow him there. The heart won’t have any part of it. Emily says, “This is the worst thing in the world.” She locks eyes with the bartender. He turns away aggravated. We define out of despair. Paraphrasing an important French philosopher. Looking around, not finding his name among the detritus. “What? Blowing your chance to come home with me?” Don’t say it out loud. It repeats the death. She can’t remember the rest. It’s not even plagiarism. “What if the cup’s empty?” Her gums draw together dry from a lack of words. The click’s louder than anything she’s ever written.

D.S. West is an experimental artist and writer whose work has appeared under other names for The New River Voice, Haunted Waters Press, and the Deep Cuts: Mayhem, Menace, & Misery horror anthology. D.S. West's visual and poetic experiments are posted intermittently on http://myokymia.tumblr.com/.

Profile for Kerri Foley

Crack the Spine - Issue 62  

Literary Magazine

Crack the Spine - Issue 62  

Literary Magazine

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