April 21, 2017

“I thought of destroying the man in the same way I thought of destroying anything warm. I imagined breaking skulls with rocks and hammers, cleaving the bone until the pink within spilled onto my hands. I imagined slicing and stabbing and tearing warm bellies open, pulling the skin aside in strips so that I could make a space large enough to fit myself—my hands, my head…”

April 17, 2017

“I imagined drinking the man. I imagined putting my mouth upon him and sipping his skin as it went wet and sloshed. I imagined using his tongue as a straw, sucking and sucking until most of his mouth was within mine. I could drink all of him, bit by bit, quick and quick, the liquid of his ears and the moisture of his brain…”

April 13, 2017

“I saw myself walking the house with a knife in one hand and a thick swatch of hair caught in the other. This version of me was in grief. She climbed the staircase soundlessly, threw herself back down with the same non-noise. She did not look me directly in the eye no matter how many times I blocked her path…”

April 9, 2017

“Sometimes the man seemed to glisten and then I could not look away from him. It was as if he floated above me, a fleshy balloon of himself, and I reached for him, as thought if I could only wrap my arms around his legs, he might lift me, too. When the man was so shining, I wanted to smear myself with him. The world was gone outside the house and the man was all there was. And so when the man said to lock the doors, I did…”

April 5, 2017

“I opened my eyes and saw it, an inky blackness that stood in the corner of the bedroom, looming and weaving. I dismissed the darkness as yet another shadow but then it moved, abruptly gliding forward towards my side of the bed. The blackness came close to me, pressed down against me and it was almost worse that it did not have any face to speak of…”

April 4, 2017

“The man wanted to be burned upon his death. He wanted me to douse his hair and flesh with gasoline, then strike a match. The man wanted to be burned down to black ash, a clumpy puddle. If the man met such an end, I would eat him…”

April 1, 2017

“I saw the man as what he would be later. The man—no, a corpse—in a box. The man with his flesh mottled and sagging. The man with spume and spittle and residue. The man green and gray and brown. The man blackening. The man moldering. The man becoming ash and powder and dust. The man dead. The man cold. The man not there. The man in the ground. The man eaten by worms. The man made into dirt. The man gone…”

March 31, 2017

“I dreamed I cleaved the man open with the claw-end of a metal hammer. The metal just grazed the man and he broke apart. This happened again and again. The hammer went in, the man opened. Again and again and again. There was red. There was white and that went red as well. The red was everywhere. It spilled on the floor. It was on my hands. So much red, everywhere, everywhere…”

March 25, 2016

“Where was the man? Where was he in the house, where within my life? The red light flashed and droned. It said: I have him, I have him. I looked for the man. I looked for him in the hallway, in the bathroom, upon the staircase. I put my ears to the walls and listened for him banging about within the plaster. I looked beneath the bed, behind the couch, within the cushions…”

March 23, 2017

“The red light flashed and droned. It said: I have him, I have him. I looked for the man. I looked for him in the hallway, in the bathroom, upon the staircase. I put my ears to the walls and listened for him banging about within the plaster. I looked beneath the bed, behind the couch, within the cushions. The man was not there. The man was not anywhere. The man was not in the house. The red light shone. The red light burned a hole through the side of the house…”

March 22, 2017

“The red light burned through the house. I could not sleep. The man slept with his hands pressed to his face. He snored in such a way I thought of metal blades hacking through dry concrete. There was gristle, there was splatter, there was spark. I turned from side to side. I pulled at my hair. I closed my eyes but the red light was there, emblazoned upon the insides of my eyelids…”

March 19, 2017

“I scratched into the man’s back: THIS MAN IS MINE. I wrote it so that if the man went missing and his body was found much later, I would be able to prove his identity. He was the man, he lived in the house with me. I wrote the message once, then traced over it three dozen times, scratching and scratching until the man’s flesh was ripped up. The scratches bled, then healed, then scarred…”

March 16, 2017

“I was overcome by a sense of vertigo, as if the man and I were not in a house but within an immense tower built into the edge of a cliff. This vertigo manifested as a swirling sensation at the front of my head, a pain in my eyes, a thumping at the base of my throat, a pitching feeling in my stomach, a nasal drip. It was, to say the least, uncomfortable…”

March 13, 2017

“Beneath the bed, I noticed a sharp edge poking out. I thought it was metal but then, when I touched, I saw it was a thick sheet of paper covered in smeared writing. The paper wrinkled when I touched it, then sliced along the length of my index finger. I looked numbly at the cut. It was perfectly straight and clean. I thought it would not bleed, then it did. As soon as I thought of the blood, it came trembling out as a slowly thickening red smear. I put my finger in my mouth and sucked…”

March 10, 2017

“If I ate of the man—if I ate of the man and he was more delicious than any fruit—what did that make me? Sometimes I was overwhelmingly hungry. It was such a hunger that I was sick. I felt I could eat walls and floors and the house itself. I thought I might swallow the man in one large gulp, such a gulp that not even my teeth would touch him…”

March 9, 2017

“I woke to the man crying. At first, as my eyes opened, I thought the crying was mine, that I came lurching from a dream still devastated. I touched my eyes but they were dry. I opened my mouth slightly and there was no hitching. My throat was not tight, my chest did not burn. I listened to the crying and it was deep, guttural. The crying came from a voice that was not mine and that was when I realized it was the man, sunken deep into whatever grief he kept hidden from me…”

March 8, 2017

“I carved up my thighs. It was an accident. I said: I cut myself accidentally. In that way, I made it true. It was an accident that I decided to prove I was separate from the house. I remembered walking inside the house but just in case, a splash of blood would remind me better. I found a rusted nail between two floorboards, held it by the head, and raked its sharp point over myself. I carved deep into my skin, layer after layer, and I bled thickly…”

March 7, 2017

“And I thought: Perhaps I am dead. This house was my purgatory and so I was stuck within because there was nowhere else to go. And perhaps, there were many other such houses, each equally dark and always cold, made claustrophobic by ghosts convinced they were still alive, a man and a woman sequestered within…”

March 6, 2017

“I ate salt to exorcise myself of the dead and the dark and the man. I put handfuls of salt in my mouth and crunched. My tongue withered with the first bite. I could not breathe. Between bites, I whispered a vanquishing mantra: Away with you, away with you. Away with the dead, away with the house, away with the man, away with myself. The salt was unpleasant. It grew more so by the handful…”

March 3, 2017

“I dreamed that I needed to crawl below the house but the only way was to follow a ladder sunken into a stone wall. I crawled and crawled, the ladder creaking all the while, and I worried that someone might hear the creaking and follow. Down and down I went, until I reached the bottom, which was a hard dirt floor. Above was the hole which the ladder led from. I was meant to find something down there but could not…”

March 2, 2017

“When I was very young, I realized I would die. I realized this in the same way I knew water was wet and people were cruel and gods did not exist. It was as simple as saying: I am going to die. I was going to die and everything in the world was going to die with me. One day, the sky would die and the trees would die and the water would die and every body would die. There was no running from this death. It did not procrastinate. It came. It killed. It chased me…”

March 1, 2017

“Later, I wanted nothing more than to be away from the man. The closeness of him was infuriation. The man was in every room. His shadow repeatedly mingled with mine. I was in a different sort of agony, one born of proximity and smothering. The man did not leave me alone. I turned the oven on, the man turned the oven off. I looked out the window, the man painted over the glass…”

February 26, 2017

“There was my body and separate from that, my flesh. In the dark, in the house, everything was separate. Me. The man. He stared blankly at a shattered mirror and counted all the individual versions of himself. The house smelled of kidneys, blistered offal. The man salted himself for protection, then left me alone. Something breathed in my ear…”