May 12, 2019

“Your body is not healthy, the milk man claimed, putting a fist inside my body, then retching when he pulled it free and saw the red knuckles. The milk man made me second guess my blood. This blood was filth, this blood was unnatural. How could I bleed like I was raw meat, stabbed and left? How could the blood run if there was no injury? The milk man wiped his hand clean, then pushed it back into me. He pushed and pushed until he was in up to his elbow. Disgusting, the milk man said. Unclean…”

March 30, 2019

“The mother kept having nightmares. In one, the children hatched from blistered ostrich eggs. In another, the mother stripped naked, looked down at herself, and saw the black hole where everything should have been. In yet another, the children came to her, desperate to be fed from her body, and when she put a hand to her throat, she found it was gaping, and she could not scream. The father was never in these dreams although the mother knew he was very near. She heard his breathing, which was harsh and rattled the walls. The mother learned long ago not to reach for the father when she was afraid. He was not a comfort and shook her away, told her to keep her bad dreams to herself…”

February 28, 2019

“He smelled of old meat, menstruation, sour milk, all my old pregnancies that went watery with failure. My tumor crept down to him, buried her face in him, sniffed and licked, took his rancid self into her body, ate with full mouth and cramping tongue, ate with sour throat and sour stomach, ate until she could not eat anymore, and then she did, because she was my tumor and nothing was ever enough…”

January 31, 2019

“This pregnancy wanted so much. It demanded I eat and eat and eat. I ripped open packages of ground beef, slit packages of raw chicken parts, tossed the meat in a hot pan for just long enough that the meat was no longer cold to the touch, and then I ate, despite the pink at the center. I did not think of contamination or disease. I thought only of feeding the pregnancy so that it stilled within me, so that in its fullness, I might rest and not think of it again…”

December 13, 2018

“Imagine it was night. Imagine it was night and I was walking, just as I did most nights because I had trouble sleeping. Imagine, that when I slept at night, I suffered terrible nightmares of redness and pain and these nightmares often woke me with a scream. And so imagine, to get away from those night terrors, I walked in the dark, distancing myself. And imagine, that this night, as I was walking, I paused too long at one corner or another, did not look both ways before crossing an empty street, decided to pass by the park instead of the cemetery (it could have been so many things), and so beheld a wolf…”

October 4, 2018

“There was a man I once loved, who was not special to anyone but me. My beastly woman and I found him. All it took was a little of our flesh and blood. We cut ourselves up, ate the pieces (our flesh was sweet, then sour, then spicy), then spent three days suffering terrible fevers. We thrashed and vomited and were wet with cold sweats until finally, the man I once loved came to our door…”

September 29, 2018

“There, in the little house I made with the professor, I might sit nursing my child while I listened to the constant screaming outside, the screaming which eventually became comforting because at least, someone existed outside. But my beastly bitch knew better. If she came out of me, it would be like an organ was cut in half, then left to fester. I would sicken, suffer blood poisoning, blacken throughout my innards, the meat of me becoming liquid…”

August 5, 2018

“But there were other things in the wetness the skinned man and woman brought to us. In their hands, then upon the floor, were piles of my old menstruation, the meat in black, twisting tendrils, reeking of passed flesh, of discarded uterus. I had forgotten the sight of this blood passing my body…”

July 29, 2018

“This is my body, this is my body, this is my body. I said it with wonder and awe, I said it with terror and disbelief. This is my body, mine, mine, mine, this flesh, this bone, this blood, all of it, packaged neatly together within me, ME. It was mine in the same way the pregnancy was mine, my hair was mine, my womb was mine. It all belonged to me, I was not ME without those parts…”

July 18, 2018

“I want, I want, I want, my uterus said. I want. But I could not give her anything. There would be no future children, no uterine reconstruction, no life outside my body. She would exist here, within my skin, for however long it took for her to finish putrefying and drain, the muck of her red-brown and stinking, slicking my thighs on her way out, staining the bedsheets…”

July 9, 2018

“I could not leave the refrigerator but the milk man came and went. With each return, I smelled blood more strongly. I sniffed the milk, the floor, myself, but the blood only grew when the milk man was near. I looked at his fingers and saw that his nails were crusted with blood. I found a blood splotch on his left cheek, a red smear behind his right ear. The milk man had blood in his hair, blood on his throat, blood on his thighs…”

June 23, 2018

“If I called the milk man, he dropped his telephone in a glass of salt water. If I sent him letters, he burned them, then snorted the ash. He made me wait for him, hours and days, until I grew dusty in my most important parts and believed they might crumble away. Then he returned, did what he wanted, took his milk crates and ran away. I saved a few—one or two—put them in storage, so that I would always have a reason for him to come back. I have your crates, I might have said. And then, there he would be, ready to retrieve…”

June 3, 2018

“And when my womb thought I forgot it, it made me bleed. I bled with such force that I was sick. I felt my womb cramping within me. It tightened, pulled, and I nearly vomited. In this way, my womb assured that I knew it existed, that for all my denial, it remained always within me…”

May 31, 2018

“And imagine that it was possible for this womb to come loose and swim within me, travel from abdomen to chest to throat, to clamber up onto my tongue and sit behind my teeth, choking me. Imagine that all the while, this womb secreted black poisons and biles, poured and poured, until I was sick with its fluids…”

May 17, 2018

“Once upon a time, something I thought I did not want was taken out of me. Whether it was womb or pregnancy did not matter, only that it was removed and so I was left with an unfilled space that often ached when I thought upon it for too long. And it was a cruel emptiness that drummed violently in my head, saying: You are missing…”

May 3, 2018

“But ghosts do not leave because they are asked or begged or forced. Instead, they become more solid—hungrier—and so this is what happened to my ghost. It grew bodily, grew flesh and hair, although the hair was immediately clawed off and cast into the dark of the house. And so the ghost was made flesh and it followed me, dragging the weight of itself…”

April 28, 2018

“We had neighbors. They came to the house once a day and knocked on the door. From outside, they called: Are you in there? Are you okay? We did not answer. We crouched away from the door, held our hands over our ears, and whispered: Go away, go away, go away. And the neighbors did go away, but only for the night. They returned the next day, then the next…”

April 13, 2018

“From out the mud crawled a man. He came to me, touched me, gave me a glass of brackish water. This man, still caked with mud, gave me water to drink. In my naivety, I believed the water holy. I looked upon it and thought: Yes, this water is blessed. And so I drank, first a sip, then a gulp, until I realized my tongue was sour and the water hard…”

April 4, 2018

“There were many gods, those that had no names, who were thought of only vaguely because to think hard on them was to think of misery and abyss but a misery and abyss that was so overwhelming, so stinking, it immediately killed the one who thought them. Father and mother wrote on my body, smeared me with old blood, invited the gods out of the shadows, told them to do with my body what only a god could do to a human woman…”

March 19, 2018

“I took the parsley each day, in many ways, until my tongue and teeth were green, until a vague parsley smell came from my pores. The parsley sprouted around the side of the house where I did not like to go. I did not trust what might be out there in the grass. And so father went out of the house while I waited with crossed fingers. He returned with fistfuls of parsley, root ends still attached, dirt clods falling onto the floor…”

March 8, 2018

“Once upon a time, in a dark, hungry forest, there lived a girl hated by her mother. When the girl fell in the woods, tripped, and was cut up, the mother thought: My child has given her flesh to the spirits. When the girl hunted and returned with handfuls of bloody flesh, the mother thought: Surely this meat is human in origin. When the girl was knocked flat on her back by the temperamental old goat, the mother thought: She copulates with the livestock…”

February 23, 2018

“But the man was inside me. How was that not enough? He swam in my veins, ate from my stomach, swallowed from my throat. He was in my brain, behind my eyes, dripping from my nose. His dreams were my dreams, his hungers mine, his sicknesses mine. He made me alive again. His blood was better than a kiss of true love. He saw me nearly dead in bed and gave of himself so that I did not sleep forever…”

February 5, 2018

“The house was covered in blood. The walls were in varying stages of brownness (some edges were still red from fresh blood but the rest of the stains were already oxidized with age) similar to thick rust. We could not breathe without inhaling the blood. I tasted it on my tongue and in my throat. I was dizzy with the blood smell. I could not think right. I staggered about, holding the bloodied walls for support, then sinking down onto the equally bloody floors…”