Contributorâ€™s Notes Brian Bishop is a senior studying sound recording and is originally from Utica, NY. He is a food enthusiast with experimental spicing tendencies, avid LSD (long, slow distance) runner, dadaist poet and chess newb amongst other self-prescribed nomenclatures. He loves his family, friends and books. He is attempting to be a better person and wants you to come to breakfast. Kim Brandl is a senior Visual Arts and New Media major with a double minor in Psychology and English. Don Brenner is a graduate student in English where he also received his undergraduate degree. Lacey Daley is a senior English major with minors in Creative Writing and Sociology. In her spare time she enjoys fine art, a good hockey game, and dabbling in journalism. Julie Denero is a Senior English Major with a minor in Creative Writing that began writing her sophomore year of college. Jill Durland is a junior English Adolescence Education major with a Writing minor. In her free time she writes, reads sciencefiction books, and watches movies with her fish, Perseus.
The Trident Spring 2011, No. 8
Editors Fiction: Gina Abraham Matthew Alexander Molly Gutschow Jim Hill Jeremy Izzo Katherine Johnson Lauren Kuss Kayleigh Lee Adam Melquist Audrey Putney Amanda Rogers Julie Rummings Caelan Tracy Michelle Polowy William Walawender
Poetry: Samantha Brethel Matthew Gerber Jessica Haynes Amber John Scott Malkovsky Tiffany Mowers Kara Myers Brittany Neddo Karen Nelson Carly Salzberg Madelein Smith
Faculty Editor: Professor Dustin Parsons
Tara Escudero is a senior English major with a minor in Political Science. Saffi Rigberg is a junior double major in Spanish and Television and Digital Film. Tiffany Wood likes growing plants in her apartment, and the sound cassettes make when they click against each other. When she was little, she wanted to be an astronaut when she grew up (and maybe she still might). She is not afraid of zombies. Four sno -cones on one July day was the best decision Tiffany ever made. She dislikes when there is cereal left, but not enough for a whole bowl. Once she slept for the whole afternoon. Sometimes she writes things down. All text set in Georgia font.
The Trident is an annual published by undergraduate students enrolled in ENGL 261: Introduction to Literary Publishing. This is a student-run, student-populated magazine from the campus of SUNY Fredonia. The selection process for work in the magazine is a juried blind process. The Trident is greatly indebted to the English department, the Mary Louise White fund for its continued support and to the Fredonia Student Association for the promotional activities that they help us put on. Special thanks go out to Diane Bohn, Dr. Adrienne McCormick, Publication Services including Paula Warren and Patty Herkey, and all students who have supported the magazine with their submissions. Visit our website at: http://www.fredonia.edu/department/english/writersring.asp
The Trident Poetry 5 Tara Escudero “Facture” 9 Julie Denero Three poems 16 Kim Brandl Two poems
18 Saffi Rigberg “December 7, 1997” 26 Tiffany Wood “Charles Blondin” 28 Don Brenner “The Last Dodo”
Fiction 6 Lacey Daley “Friction” 12 Jill Durland “Permanent Markers” 20 Brian Bishop “As Most Children Do”
Cover Art: “Hilltop View” by Andrew G. Smith
The Last Dodo
bloody bone feathers and yellow beak imbedded in brain exposed an aviary corpse when the burial dust settled the last Dodo fell with eighty eight avocado trees cut down that day and they fell like tipped cows slow slow fast thud dirt sprayed like winter breath but before trees tumbled and avocados rolled downhill north sawteeth scratched bark and cut at one hundred fifty degree angles and wedges pried tree trunks while the last Dodo slept in the last inhabited Dodo nest like the last of a long genealogy abhorring what was left of a final family a weak decrepit Jones or Smith tumbles down stairs of a two story home in Maine.
Tiffany Wood in bed. That’s what happens if you compress your priorities to a dense circle of wind. Living in the sky is easy when you have no bedrock. Coming down is when things begin to disintegrate. I am alone and I’ve made it up here by myself. I won’t fall. I am hemmed in by the thousand clapping hands plinking in time with the thousand drops of water, by the hungry angry air pushing into me, by the gravity hanging off my feet, wrapping the skin around the wire.
Charles Blondin Sometimes when I am walking on the earth, plain, rolled out like dough, I feel the wire’s absence. Where it should be running across the length of my feet. I wonder if this ground is sufficient to hold me. I wonder if the dirt will crack and I will fall right through to the unnamable below, jaw cocked open, waiting. Tension is insurance. Straight line tilt cut across the sky: something to measure against. Otherwise all that’s left is like sugar dissolving in water. 26
Three inches is a fickle friend. It is the noose I drape loosely around my neck every time I forsake the earth, and my salvation. How else would I span the void? How else could the emptiness be covered? Three fingers held up, parallel: this is the thickness of my heartbeat. I cast my doubts in the massive vacuum of space through which my line strings taut like a sliver of a hint, of a whisper. The abyss is lined with solid black and I lean against the air like walls. Niagara’s breath holds me up. A collective gasp echoes up from shore. Their faces are spots of sand from here, only significant in numbers. A beach of admirers. My hair is damp from spray of waterfall and shines gold for them like sun. What wouldn’t I risk? Nothing else is normal, so my center of mass will continue to hover tight in my ankles, high above the warm roofs of rooted lives. It’s not so much a question of balance. Does a balloon strive for symmetry? It just is. It hangs in the air like it’s lying
Facture The screen door and rocking chair converse more than us sometimes. Their creaking and clatter fill the silence that wraps us together like a sheet tangled between our ankles. The valley below stretches far past our range of sight, a green basin that holds the mist in the morning. The candles on the kitchen table have gone out, their sentences of smoke trail through the screen, whispering that we should get going. Our shoes and bags lean against the porch like old men pouring out of windows their pipe stems curl under our chins, pleading.
Brian Bishop Lacey Daley
Friction I dance with people who are older than me. Someone told me years ago never to try it, but here I am, cooped up in ballrooms and dance clubs cavorting with people often three times my age. I can’t stop, and I don’t want to stop. I used to hide it, back when I didn’t want to risk what was left of my name. So I would go to school, sign my name in on the tennis roster, then leave. No one ever no6
ticed, and if they did, they never asked. I knew about Ronnie not graduating because of it, and Jean too. Actually, I think Jean probably graduated, but got absorbed somewhere into the nothingness of the habit soon after. When I first started, I only went to Teddy’s Lounge. The place was dimly lit and elegant, and there were always two older men there that I could count on for a Rumba Hour partner. The taller man, the one who wore the velvet vest and smelled like a cob pipe, had a firm grip and large hands that straightened my slouching shoulders. He adjusted his stride to mine to make the hip sway more natural. It seemed something of a fatherly gesture, like he was shortening an old golf club for me. When we got close enough, I could read this in his eyes. The other man was completely bald and would wipe his halo of shining sweat with his forearms, then press them against my lower back.
course, and grandmother’s cooking. He collected the potatoes, relieved them of their thorns and lifted their weight which was as heavy as he was hungry. He gathered the cake and carrots and started upstairs. The carpet of each step gave a lift to his foot and there was no more a need for him to run away from the depths of it all. The light was put to rest and he turned back once again to feel the weight of the basement as heavy as he was curious. At dinner, he found grandfather covered in his newspaper in a way that suggested when he read a story, he was reading about himself, the self-proclaimed onehundred percent optimist. With the table cleared of dishes and stacked with conversation, grandmother served them bottomless mugs and he watched her hold dearly onto every smile, as most children do. Later that evening, he walked past the drive and into the cul-de-sac to envy the moon wrapped in the sky by those power lines. He followed its spotlight glimmer onto the groomed tile roofs of surrounding houses with curtains shut over sleeping eyes. The wind was talking and bringing them all closer to the comfort of sleep. He walked quietly as to not disturb the night’s natural death and marveled about how below each of these houses stood firmly a basement that all else rested on.
As Most Children Do
breathing its life. He collected the pain of years past, as when his cousin hit him square in the forehead with a billiard ball and felt alone in all the memories that were hiding in his depths. It was in this moment that he accepted the walls of the room, the darkness he could taste, as his own being. The boxes of his relatives’ schoolyard art acted out theatrics of their creation and became the same story he had always heard about the garden, the dust and the rib. The myths locked away in completed coloring books jumped from the pages and opened a crack in the ceiling to be expelled from. He stopped looking past the walls and the room opened wider, revealing witnesses among all the things that once had appeared as obstacles on the path towards the washing machine. He for once knew intimacy with the inanimate and was all but swept into the memories, almost leaving his body behind and following the fish up through the ceiling and beyond when a voice called from above. “What’s the noise, are you alright down there?” Grandmother stood at the top stair wiping dishwater from her palms and onto her apron, adding age with each stroke. He was alright. He was the room now, in fact, and that was more than alright. He yelled up a giggle in the way that most children do, unabashed and filled with peace. The questions would stop being asked, there was nothing more he wanted. The sun had set on the glazed windows leading into the basement and he had regained a footing, though the room had stopped swimming. All the fish had escaped. He was more than sure his father as a child had saddled himself to the back of the lone seahorse that vanished beyond the rafters. That was all he needed. That, of
Lacey Daley That dampness became familiar and loosened my limbs. I began to miss it once he passed. The better I got at managing my stigma, the more places I frequented. When the heat died out at Teddy’s and the crowd retreated to the bar, I would go next door to Havana. Things were all a bit sexier there, so I never hesitated to shed my cardigan. The smoky atmosphere helped darken my virgin glow and hide the logo on my tennis uniform. I danced the Mambo there, sometimes the Salsa. There was always a woman by the door who reminded me of my mother, minus the stale liquor under her breath. She was of dark complexion and called on me by simply tapping the nape of my neck. Even though the dances we did together made me sweat, I got goose bumps every time her fingernails dug into my hip bones. I didn’t mind the marks she left. I looked at them like trophies when I was home and wishing I wasn’t. Sometimes men took my hand, other times women, but it was always someone older than me. If it wasn’t my hand it was my hip, if it wasn’t my hip it was my waist. No matter what, there was always contact, an embrace that was meant for me. In dance, it was appropriate. When I first started, people would stare. I would walk past dropped jaws and sharp fingers all the way to the floor. My age was obvious. The black and blue around my eyes made everyone murmur, yet no one ever turned me away. I was new, I was different, and I didn’t have much to
lose. Nowadays I find myself at more and more venues: ballrooms, receptions, anything of the sort. And I guess you could say I have regulars. They wait for me to show up, backs against the wall until I enter. They approach me. I don’t know their names and they don’t buy me drinks. Few words are ever exchanged between us. We simply dance on those wooden floors we’ve come to call home. They are mature and I am still small. Their fists are tight but not cocked, the pressure around my hand like an instinctive protection 8
from any harm in the wild. Their mouths are open but the only thing that comes out is the hot breath of a stranger on my neck. With my gaze to the hardwood floor, I put my feet in the path of theirs and watch the trail we make catch fire from the friction created between our bodies.
He would find these things on his own and leave behind his inexplicable hesitance towards the store closet. Its door was sung a wheezy squeak. A few summers ago he had scanned the shelves for worth and found his first sip of alcohol among unopened bottles of peppermint Schnapps. The stuff smelled like the kind of toothpaste you would use for torture. There was a lot of foolish giggles while watching talk shows on mute that night, he recalled. Below the shelf where liquor bottle residue caked the crackling paint, the potatoes lie in a large paper bag, roots sprouting in spiraling snarls of purplish green. That always frightened grandmother. He would have to cut them off before bringing them back upstairs. The other things must be in one of two iceboxes down there. One was often empty, the other filled with half-drank pop bottles. “Cake, that was it. Cake and carrots, I th...” In that instant, he had caught the long end of a golf club stretched out across a row of boxes and he stumbled forward, tossing the potatoes. The silence of boxed memories was broken in a thunder of flails. His head met an aquarium filled with algae-ridden stones so crudely that fish appeared floating in it. He slammed shut his eyes, assessed the biting pain along his right temple and relocated himself as in and out of the basement with each bulb flicker. There were still fish feeding at the top of the tank and not stopping at the gap between water and air, their swimming as an act of moving in and out of existence. An aura of spectral washes streamed through a pile of children’s books and he felt his father dive in and out of their stories, moving beyond this world and back in at will. The age of everything abound was washed away in a flooding of this hazy feeling and he could feel the room
As Most Children Do Julie Denero
as most children do, sheepishly and with all apologies towards their doomed selves. The light switch hung halfway down the stairs, and to flick it on took great contortions, forcing the body almost over the open edge of the the stairwell to grasp it. His arms had grown, of course, and it was nothing of a problem for him to hit the switch now. This kind of size had all but stunned him recently, he never knew a tall life until the day he woke up grown. The bulb at the bottom stair was aged and flicked in hysterical oscillation, like his mind flipping between diving deeper or sprinting upstairs. Light or dark, grandmother needed those things to start preparing the meal. “A pound of butter, a bunch of potatoes... She wanted some vegetable too, I think.” Twelve feet above him he was soothed to hear her choosing pots and pans and firing their bottoms along the range. It was that same feeling he got from falling asleep in a room full of people, and how their conversations eased his drift into the darkness beyond his eyelids. Twelve feet above her was an attic populated by seasonal decorations, grandfather’s navy outfit and father’s vinyl record collection, each record with his name signed in crooked permanent marker along the sleeve. These were things that were taken out from time to time, and they had won the right to hover above his grandparents each night they slept. Other things were assigned to the basement, even as they were of no less value to them. They just served little purpose since their children had passed beyond them through telescoping time. Now their children had children and basements to go along with them. She would not hear him if he called out to her now.
The Male Angler Not long ago, I was an island, born in the scorching summer. I felt drained, disconnected, mislead. Some had heard of the tension, but never cared to visit or check. I just wanted someone to watch the moon with, but they all ended up just sailing off, before getting too close and I found myself dreaming of ship wrecks. I felt like the male anglerfish, unable to live on its own, born with no digestive system, swimming blindly in the dark. That is, until he finds a light, dangled like a fishing line. A glowing lantern attached to the female's head, drawn to it like bare skin, that peaks out from under covers, he connects with it, begins to nibble with little fish kisses until the enzymes in his body cause a chemical reaction, his body fuses with hers, and he is swallowed by her skin.
Brian Bishop Julie Denero
Birds stole pink and white sugar packets from the patio table next to us. That was the summer you took off with my briefcase and a bottle of Clos du Bois on our boat. After that all I could do was get drunk every night off of other people's wishes. I'd get my drinking money out of the fountain and fill my pockets till they were wet sacks of pennies. I'd go home and leave every light on in the house, even the television with no one to watch. I was too sad to brush my hair or teeth. I'd buy drugs out of the basement of a church. Before I started living out of my car, I remember the thrill of sticking my face in the steam of a freshly finished dishwasher cycle. I used to drive my car fast just to feel the pull on my skin. Sometimes I'd sleep outside, naked, in a tent, waiting for your car to pass with your high beams clicked on, fields illuminated, deer faces fixated and me in the grass, whispering to them, run
they once were, he thought. But he knew how the power lines that graze the fields beyond grandmotherâ€™s fence once held his father and friends tight in their arms. Now it is where the hawks roost and grandfather stands tall to honor their newborn chicks each spring. â€œA pound of potatoes, three slices of sweet butter cake and a bundle of celery, please.â€? He snapped back into the moment with its tables and chairs. Photographs of faces he was related to glimmered against the late afternoon sunset, and grandmother sat ever patient in her cradle between the plants on the table and the photographs on the refrigerator, more so a museum gallery than a cooling unit. He looked at her expecting these words again, but she just pointed amiably and asked him to hurry, else dinner would be delayed. Up from the soft back chair as he had done so many other times without following the faces that lined the walls, he rose now imagining the house itself being pieced together using scrapbooks. But that was nonsensical, he thought. The photographs stem from memories and the memories themselves must first be had within the house for the scrapbooks to come together. At the basement door down the hall he found his cold, cracked hands had given force to the time-polished brass knob. With a quarter turn he had opened up a partial pit of darkness, though last minute sundrops scattered the edge of the forms below. Something metal, something glass lay strewn over one of several workbenches to the left side beyond the stairs. It fixated him now to reproach a place so familiar in the way that it was brimming with oceanic feelings of uncertainty. He quivered to take the first stair in the same way
As Most Children Do
“That kettle is older than you and me combined, now enough,” she chuckled. Grandmother had grown sick of him quizzing her about the age of every object in her kitchen. “How old is this lamp?” “How long have you had this Formica tabletop?” She laughed hard and unreserved under the guise of her faded apron and motioned him towards the basement stairs. He would get there soon, he thought, if he could ever stop considering the birds. Nothing ever halted his gravitation towards the same chair on the right side of her table when he came for dinner, the same place he would occupy at home. This made no sense, but there was order in it nonetheless, and he loved the permanence of a kitchen chair that now conformed to his weathered back. It seemed to sigh when he offered it his weight. When he was not making house calls, grandfather would be sitting by his side, television in sight, skimming lightly through the headlines and studying the funnies. She was saddened by his jesting questions only because she was aware of something he could not be, something she might describe as the timelessness of the objects surrounding them, about their role as witnesses. There was hope nevertheless, that he would find this for himself. He wondered where his father would have sat as a child, about how the children must have fought in the same ways that most children do, harshly and unapologetic. No one ever seemed to want to orient themselves with the child
What’s the most beautiful thing you can think of, besides baby sharks teeth strung around your neck like bees, with gold thread and old men in diners talking about their pet alligators, and how gentle they are taking food straight from their owner’s mouth, or the way you steal lovers out from underneath their covers, take them away from the one they belong to. What’s the most beautiful thing you can think of? I bet you’ll say the moon. You had a dream it was just a sliver in your finger, and the next night it was full. You’re a different person now, sailing in the opposite direction. You speak loud and starve yourself. You’ve forgotten self-control, from when you were a friendless child with bits of glass and wild flowers, playing by yourself on top of dusty dirt piles thinking maybe if you could play piano someone would finally love you.
Saffi Rigberg Jill Durland
Permanent Markers Lean against the window. Let your head rest against the cool glass and your hands flatten on the smooth surface. Think about how even when your hands are gone
When we were seven, we knew what it meant to search for the invisible, not to accept what is dark, but to bring it to the skin and snow of everything. When we were seven, we knew how to dig to the light.
your finger prints will remain. A part of you will always be here. Right now the guilt presses on your lungs and makes it hard to breathe. You didnâ€™t see the patch of ice there, hidden beneath the layer of snow. You pumped the brake but it was 12
too late. You tried to concentrate on the street light a hundred yards in front of you, willing the car to move past the ice and to the light. Instead it rolled down a bank. You watched pennies from your cup holder fly through the air, stinging as they hit your cheek. The car stopped on its side but you hardly knew up from down anymore. Next to you, a toy truckâ€™s sound effects droned on incessantly into the silence, its parts damaged in the crash. You called to the backseat but got no answer. In the darkness the traffic light changed from green to red but the colors blurred together. You tried to struggle through the darkness to him but your eyes unwillingly closed. When you woke up it was to the bright lights of the hospital. You reached out instinctively looking for him only to find you were alone in a small white room. A brown curtain had been drawn halfway around your bed. A slash in
Jill Durland Saffi Rigberg
December 7, 1997
the fabric created a ragged window that let you see into the
When my sister, the one who memorizes science, like the rest of us memorize everything that ever went wrong in our lives, told me how underneath the snow are dark minerals, frozen through the ground, I thought she said materials, and I believed her, because aren’t there dark materials underneath all of our skin?
dancing in your vision. You couldn’t stay there. You escaped
I told her a nightmare of falling down the equator to Antarctica, and no one could hear me scream. She told me that the snow in Antarctica is a wall, so it’d be alright if I fall again, because someone a mile away will hear me, because the waves of my voice will know how to bounce off the surface of snow.
work with tired eyes. She started to point down a hall and
The night before my eighth birthday, I tiptoed through the darkness of my house, silent to open the door with the key we left on the counter for quick access, for emergencies. Outside I tunneled through the snow with a shovel tall enough to kiss my nose, along with the frost that stung solid to the earth that night, though I continued to try and break through to the center, to see what was dark about it all. Underneath me are names I cannot pronounce, which is the same as underneath our skin, when we feel but cannot say why, or we think but cannot express in words what we want, or where we want to be. *
hall. You rolled off the bed to your feet, little spots of light into the hall, leaning against the wall. The bumps on the wallpaper felt like Braille beneath your fingers. Your knees begged you to stop, threatening to collapse. Down the hall you saw a nurse’s station and struggled towards it. You asked where he was. The nurse looked up from her paperyou turned that direction without listening to what she said. You opened the door to the first room you found in the hall. The bed had been stripped of its sheets, revealing the stained mattress like a mummy without its wrappings. There was the silhouette of a man leaning against the wall. His eyes stared out the window but he looked into another world. For a second he turned his sad brown eyes on you before turning back to the window. You closed the door quickly. You moved from door to door. When the handles did not give way you stumbled onto the next door. A tan door in front of you opened and you entered an observation room. Before you, rectangle streaks of light reflected off a huge glass window. The walls were white and the ceiling tiles were browning with age. Some of the tiles were missing, leaving empty holes that let you see the ceiling’s internal wiring. Now you stand looking through the window. They
Permanent Markers Kim Brandl will discover your presence here later with horror. You were never meant to see this. Look down thethe bright lights glinting off bare sterile Lying beneath him, at I felt rough ground on my skin, If he had his the way,swarm he would have left me raw steel. Watch of people dressed in hospital green. Shred my back to pink tissue paper under his dominating frame. Decide is the worst colorfrom in the world, contrasts Can youitblame me? Made the samethat dustitas Adam, How could I not retreat, like a tender hand from a hot, red flame? red in such a way that all the blood is even more shocking. Look down at them evenimprint when they will notdreaming look up atofyou. I left him staring at my in the dirt, the sweet musk mydoctor hair, imagining megloves to be as a lamb Noticeofthe didn’t rip his offsubmissive and throwas them in a lion’s presence, and yet, I was the one who silenced him with my roar. violently the floor like thehim doctors TV. Hate him for it. Now I amtoon top, seducing in hison dreams, birthing children from leftthe on possibility his bed sheets, raising them inhim my image instead. Hate the himstains because of death surrounds 14
daily and he must defeat quietly go mad.his days naming He pretended to beaccept satisfied after I left, or spending animals,Continue and returning home to into a hotthe meal every night to stare down operating roomprepared by my replacement, a girl as docile as a doe. But I know the truth: when the doctor talks youhe later in his off monotone voice. After Eve took the firsttobite, finished every apple on the tree only to be found byyou God, thedown ground, belly swollen with regret. Whatever do,lying don’ton look at the table. Don’t look at the thin arm that escaped the fabric. It’s pale beneath the glaring lights and you can see the purple-yellow bruises. The marks left from a failed attempt to shield the face of an angel from the onslaught of screeching tires and the inescapable ton of rolling metal. The little hand is still stained from the permanent markers he got into. Wish that you hadn’t yelled. Wish that you had told him that markers could be washed off but your love was permanent. Try to block out all thought. There will be a time when it is okay to remember the sound of his voice, his proud smile when riding his bike, and how peaceful he looked asleep with moonlight thrown across his face. Now is not that time. Close your eyes when you can’t block out these
Herd Animal I spent my childhood swallowed up to my waist in fields of hay. Parents waited anxiously for hot dry weather to cut, to bale, to stack. When rain came in July, they howled like young girls whose pigtails had been pulled, but I would sneak out of the house to the muddy fields. My body would sink into the soft earth, leaving my imprint on the landscape. I wondered if it might remain, long after I was gone, so I might always know a place in the world in which I fit. Or perhaps, others might stumble upon it one day when I am old, and know that I existed with tiny hands and tiny feet. Was it the intoxicatingly sweet smell of the hay that caused me to chase fairies through the fields at dusk, or did they really exist in those open fields? Perhaps they knew that their secret would be kept safe, hushed from the ears of curious travelers by the sound of hay being rustled in the breeze. Laying by the fence line I would get lost in the rhythmic whisper of horses eating in the pastures, and understand for the first time, how crunchy and luscious a blade of grass must be. Bite, crunch, chew; a mantra I would recite while meditating in these open fields. Swatting flies with their tails, like cracking whips, under the scorching sun, I would arch my neck and back, unfold my limbs and find myself rooted upon all fours, ready to break down the fences, and run with the herd.
Jill Durland Kim Brandl
Adamâ€™s First Wife
thoughts. Lean a little harder on the window and imagine
Lying beneath him, I felt the rough ground on my bare skin, If he had his way, he would have left me raw Shred my back to pink tissue paper under his dominating frame. Can you blame me? Made from the same dust as Adam, How could I not retreat, like a tender hand from a hot, red flame?
hands. Concentrate on what it would feel like to suddenly
I left him staring at my imprint in the dirt, dreaming of the sweet musk of my hair, imagining me to be as submissive as a lamb in a lionâ€™s presence, and yet, I was the one who silenced him with my roar. Now I am on top, seducing him in his dreams, birthing children from the stains left on his bed sheets, raising them in my image instead.
He pretended to be satisfied after I left, spending his days naming animals, and returning home to a hot meal every night prepared by my replacement, a girl as docile as a doe. But I know the truth: After Eve took the first bite, he finished off every apple on the tree only to be found by God, lying on the ground, belly swollen with regret.
the off-white tile beneath you, lines running across its sur-
how it would feel if the glass disappeared beneath your be falling. Focus on how the air would rush past you and your stomach would seem to catch in your throat. Feel those things because you cannot feel anything else right Turn away from the window. Lean your back against the wall and slide to the floor like a star falling from the sky. Balance your head between your knees and study face. It is cracked beyond repair.
Published on Apr 13, 2011