a typical mornin’ with my darlin

by Jonah Howell

Artwork, “Ephemeral Fringe”  by Lucy Li


“I’d squeeze you tight enough our skins would fuse

if I could squeeze you tighter. Then our two bodies

would be one and wouldn’t that be nice?”

She nuzzled the pillow; her nose scrunched like

bonsais do against their expectations.

Her lips bunched, glowing, with it, squished

like flounders’ lips, but better. She kneaded

my chest hair with one olive finger

as I tickled one olive toe with my beard.

I decided to lay with her one hour more.

I’d already fallen one short, what with

schoolwork and otherwork, job and a story

to write, but she had taken knives and stuck the real.

Time tried to pass but felt her breath and keeled

right over.

I took her airy knife and cut that cunt

that tried to take her from me with his

deadlines. This time Time didn’t swoon with

drama but actually died; it bled out

on the rug beside my bed.

I watched it for a second, proud

that I had stuck that fucker

someone should’ve stuck before.

It flopped like a flounder, but better.

I looked back to her, her face

half-buried in a pillowcase.

She smiled at me under crusty eyes

and sighed. We lay there, wallowing in radiant

warmth, until the smell of rotting Time forced us

to rise.

We left Time on the rug where it had fallen,

covered with Lysol to smother its smell.

I hefted her downstairs across my shoulders,

hovered, transcendent, not touching the carpeted

stairs. She picked her eye-crusts on the couch

and stretched, her face contorted, bending

like putty, then pulled back to tired-eyed

grin. I brewed some coffee. She made eggs.

All we heard forever was the sound of

mushing slurping swallow. Then we didn’t,

but Time lay dead upstairs, so maybe we always did.

In any case, I walked outside to water morning glories,

and she came with in silence, and I followed.

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