December 2, 2016

“For nearly a day, the man and I lay in bed together. We stared at the ceiling, watching how the shadows drifted from corner to corner, how the light washed over, then retreated. We listened to the house, how it settled and groaned, how it went quiet, then was loud again. I kept one hand upon my stomach, pressing into the meat with my fingers so that I could feel the faint churning, my stomach acid whipping about within…”

December 1, 2016

“I stayed awake all night cooking meat. Gray meat, red meat, white meat, blue meat, brown meat. I cooked it all for the man and would eat none myself. The meat was cold on the cutting board, then warm in my hands. I slapped it with my palms, then drove the meat down and through. I sliced filaments and ligaments and tendons and threads. I destroyed that meat, then laid it in a layer within a heated pan. The cooked meat smelled of roasting blood and I put my nose in a glass of water…”

November 29, 2016

“The man and I owned a porcelain doll we wanted to save for our first living child. The doll had pale skin ad blond hair and blue eyes. The doll seemed to watch wherever we walked. I kept the doll locked in a small storage closet down the hallway from our bedroom. I never went into the closet for fear the doll would look at me. I was not afraid that the doll would go walking about in the night. Dolls were not animated. I just did not like the look of the doll’s eyes…”

November 25, 2016

“Something on the television said: Hello, mother. It spoke through the crackles and breaks and bursts. I heard the voice from upstairs. It was night again. I could not see my hands in front of my face. Somewhere, the man slept and snored. I left the bedroom. The something spoke as I went down the hallway to the staircase. It said: Hello, mother, hello, mother. I sat before the television. The voice grew fainter. The television was gray. I thought I might see a child upon it but there was only blankness. I scratched myself…”

November 10, 2016

“I wanted something like an IUD, some floating box or branch or triangle that would bounce from uterine wall to uterine wall, occupying just enough of that tender space that all future implantations were interrupted. I wanted the device to see the oncoming sperm heads and say, Not in this womb, then deflect them so that they turned around and came leaking from my body days later…”

November 7, 2016

“The man flicked through the television channels while I stood uneasily between the living room and kitchen. The images were of woman, woman, woman. Woman swinging her dead child in winter. Woman opening her body up with her fists. Woman lying across a kitchen counter with a cleaver to her back. Woman being scraped clean with a rusted utensil. Woman half-buried within the dirt. Woman straining with birth…”

October 31, 2016

“I stood at the sink washing dishes. I looked out the kitchen window and the dark beyond was dotted with little white lights that seemed to fall from the sky. I watched the lights drift from sky to ground. The lights rained and puddled. The lights changed color from white to yellow. I washed the dishes in hot water. When I held a plate for too long, my hands burned. I washed the plates, the cups, the utensils. I washed and washed, soaping this and that, then rising it all clean. My hands squeaked against the glass. The lights fell on and on. They were watery…”

October 27, 2016

“Each day, my pregnancy grew a little more. It did not wither or seep or melt. It grew fatter and harder. It became hearty. I worried that the pregnancy might stick. If I let it sit, then it would dig itself a hole within my walls and hide away until it became too large for my body. I did not know what I would do with the creature if it stayed within me. More than that, I did not know how to cope with it once it passed from my womb…”

October 25, 2016

“In the night, as the man snored with sleep, I heard something moving in the hallway. It was a sound within a sound and I could not close my eyes against it. I sat up in bed and looked at the door. The sound came close, then moved away. It seemed to pace, to repeat its steps. It wandered and I waited for the door to move, for the knob to turn. I shook the man but he did not wake…”

October 18, 2016

“I staggered through the house, dripping and heavy. My body was not my own. I knew this now. I carried it somehow but it was as alien as each pregnancy I suffered. The parasites made me ill. They tainted what was once my flesh. They corrupted what was once my bone. They polluted what was once my mind. None of this was mine: not my head nor my breasts nor my stomach or my knees…”

October 11, 2o16

“The man brought me a bouquet of flowers. They were pink and yellow and purple. I carried the bouquet around the house, holding it just beneath my chin so that I could ingest the smell. When I did not carry them, the bouquet went on the table beside my plate or on the couch cushion to the left of where I sat or on my night table. The flowers were good for a week, then began weakening. The flowers sagged and the edges cracked. The colors browned. The floral scent became astringent…”

September 26, 2016

“I was empty for a time, then heavy again. My body refused to stay vacant. I tried sealing it but my skin always opened again. The heaviness was short-lived. It came, then burst, and flowed out of my body in a heavy red stream. I stripped naked and went around the house like that, bleeding and bleeding, until I was weak and thought I might die from blood loss. My blood stains were there and there and there. They were in the kitchen, the dining room, the bathroom. They were on the bed…”

September 10, 2016

“Once upon a time, a man brought me away to his home which was white and gleaming and sterilized. There, the man gave me an egg and a kiss, then went away to attend to those matters a newlywed man must. I knew the man wished me to wander the house with the egg in hand so that when I came upon some scene of horror, I might drop the egg, thereby sealing my fate as yet another murder victim created via mistrust…”

September 7, 2016

“I removed my womb from my center with a pair of burning tongs, then placed it within a glass jar. Within the jar, the womb floated and kicked. It swam from wall to wall, and never once complained about being trapped forever (sometimes, though, the womb burbled in protest). I kept the jar upon a shelf and each day, gazed upon the uterine splendor. The womb often changed colors.”

August 18, 2016

“Once upon a time, everyone in the house was sad. They wandered glumly with red eyes and running noses. Each meal was eaten silently. Doors stayed closed. No one spoke and no one looked at one another. Those who talked were shushed. The only sound was at night when everyone lay in bed and cried.”

August 1, 2016

“Beneath the dust, more impressions, all with fists and knuckles and fingers. I touched them gently, easing the dust from them, then wiping my hands upon myself. The house banged around me now, the sound of closed hands striking plaster repeatedly. I cringed at the sound, at the implied violence within it. The walls powdered…”

July 30, 2016

“The floors were dustier now. The dust crunched beneath my feet as I walked. The dust was gritty, like sand. It mounded in corners, rose up the bottoms of the walls. I brushed the dust with my hands but the dust returned. The dust powdered my shoulders and hair. It dusted my clothing. I swept the dust but it made no difference. I swept dust from dust. I tilted my head towards the ceiling and the dust was there. It spilled onto me. It was on my face. It fell into my mouth. That constant, streaming dust. It rained down. It caught in the gray light and swirled…”

July 25, 2016

“Again, I wandered. I went through the house without seeing where I went. Every room was the same, as was the passageways between them. There was dark and then there was dark. There was cold and it was stagnant. There were footsteps and there were creaks and there were knocks. I sank to the floor several times, kneading the sides of my head with my fists until my bones hurt, then nearly fainting. I screamed and kicked and stomped. I beat my hands against the walls. My blood splashed upon the plaster.”

July 12, 2016

“I pushed through the hallway dark. I sweated and panted and ached. The air resisted and I had to force my way past. The darkness spread around me. I could not see the doors, the walls, the ceiling. I saw only the floor, which was layered with so much dust, my footsteps were muted. I heard myself walking but the walking sounded as if it were coming through the walls. I walked on, counting the steps, then growing confused. Somewhere near the middle of the hallway, I thought I was near my mother and father’s bedroom.”

June 11, 2016

“The man and I did not sleep. The children did not let us near our bedroom. They huddled in the hallway just outside and snapped at our ankles when we tried passing. The man’s and my eyes went red. We blinked and the gelatin burned. We could not see correctly. We rubbed our eyes and rubbed our eyes and rubbed our eyes…”

May 30, 2016

“The children wanted roadkill. They wanted filth and spew and vomit. They wanted blood and foam and shit. They wanted ripping and chewing and red. They wanted flesh. They would not settle within me. They pried at my pelvis until I squealed in pain. I wrapped my arms around myself but the children still moved. They bit until my outsides bruised…”

May 26, 2016

“We ate in father’s absence. It was sympathetic eating. We ate what father could not. Mother served large slabs of bleeding meat. She dumped mashed potatoes onto our dishes, buttered corn. Mother’s plate was the same as sister’s whose plate was the same as brother’s whose plate was the same as mine. I pushed the meat off my plate, then ate the potatoes and corn. Mother and sister and brother did not cut their meat. They lifted the meat to their mouths and bit…”

May 13, 2016

“The doctor knew all about me. The man confided in him. The man told the doctor everything about my hallucinations and delusions. Together, they came to the realization that I needed to be medicated. I was not hallucinating nor was I deluded but the man did not believe me.”