a contract signed with a kiss like the x of an illiterate pirate

Originally uploaded by pinkbelt.
  • Societies worse off ‘when they have God on their side’. (original study here).
  • A proposed bill hopes to make criminals out of unmarried women in Indiana who conceive
    “by means other than sexual intercourse.”

  • I hesitated at the front of the walk, a flitting bit of pained imagination painting another woman in his bed, but I walked forward anyway. This is my place to do so, I thought, this is my entreaty, my voice, my bloody pain. I am allowed whatever I say I am. Nervously, I tapped on his window and went to the porch. I watched his confusion melt into welcome as he opened the door. “Were you knocking? Come in, please.” I settled in like I was home. The house knows who I am, it tells me hello. The other moving pieces, the western world, they like me.

    We stayed up late. Appleseed on screen and our legs eventually tangled on the couch. My knife edged feeling of assumption dulls when I see that he’s as aware of the placement of my hands as I am of his. His breathing is a give-away, a prize win understatement of I’m the right number of customers. Coughing confetti, coughing something I’m used to. I hold my hand on his chest and don’t flinch anymore. He is going to die, just like we will, but maybe quicker. In the bed he coughs too, my body holding itself rigid in sympathy, letting his body subside before relaxing back into a doll-like pool of blood and closed glass eyes, but we sleep. Our first real sleep in months.

    The morning was an adventure in boundary lines, roommates, that one’s in a housecoat yet I’m in my underwear, where’s the coffee? Fine details lined under eyes, the newsprint, oh we missed it. There’s a good write-up in here somewhere. Lean over and read. My hand sprouts a silver spoon, nothing I was born with and neither were they. The comments are complimentary, which is gentlemanly, and comfortable. Breakfast cuts itself in half to soothe the hungry hearts that exhausted themselves in the previous night while errands start to thicken out of gossiping fog. Head of the house, heed the commands. It’s too late. I’m already lying in the sun on the porch, one arm around a dismembered leg and a forbidden book page one hundred thirty-two. The neighbors look then look away and I haven’t had a chance at the internet yet.

    Sitting in the back of the minivan feels like the television expected childhood I never had. We buy chain and rope and try to find shelves, daughter to my lover, daughter to the inevitable opposite, and sister to my rockabilly friend. We let the parents bicker over music and pretend to dance, letting conversation drift. Leaves on a stream, coloured and dropped from only modern trees. The beat comes from Bollywood, the lyrics hate our guts. I buy wings at the second hand clothing store. Black ones, feathered, they scratch the air when I put them on like a record skipping sound behind me.

    The angel was unexpected. Not a dream, not entirely solid. She pulled his hair. “This was supposed to be prose, what are you doing here? Get out.” From his throat poured heterodyne modulations of voice and information static. “This paragraph can’t start with you here. I need you off my page.” His hands tore from the paper, shredding metaphor, leaving behind crumpled, stained ideas. Frustrated, she kicked them. “These are broken now. Look at the point of view! Ruined.”