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
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
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.