Personal Space

A cloud of talcum powder settles around me and the woman who touches my face studies the lost shape of my eyebrows. The woman who touches my face goes tsk tsk, you’ve waited too long. She can embarrass me a little because I need her. 

Salinger Kids

Do you think Wes Anderson has kids? The guy is asking this other guy sitting across the room. He's not asking you. He has hardly acknowledged your existence, even though you've been sitting next to him since the beginning of the party. Well, maybe that's not true. It can't be true. He must have at least nodded hello when you sat down.

Luli

It wasn't until our first exchange of words that I began to understand Luli. It happened in the girl’s locker room, before gym. We were alone. I hung up my school uniform and Luli slipped off hers, revealing across her chest the red fractal patterns of lightning. Thin scars alternating like geese feet.

We Live in the Furniture Store

We live in the furniture store. We order Chinese and pretend we cooked it in the Sylco Modern Kitchen Space. We eat it in the Shepherd and West Cozy Corner. Our drinks sit on the Recycled Wood Coasters, set of four. Mine has a fox. Yours has a manatee. Last week I found a pair of women’s underwear, not my own, in the Miss Magenta Vanity and Dresser Set.

Detox

I let myself into Albert’s building and walk up the narrow staircase to his fourth-floor apartment. I undo the padlock, slide open the metal door that covers his mail slot, and push the meat into the darkened apartment. The liver squelches and slaps against the floor. Albert groans from inside.

Jeffs

When I get older, I’m going to live alone. Not some little kid “no boys allowed” treehouse bullshit. Just alone. No boyfriend, no husband. Just me. I won’t need anyone.That’s my mom’s problem, that she needs this Jeff and all the others. It’s like she thinks she’ll stop being real if someone isn’t touching her.

When Peter Left the House

Peter left the house as I was slipping a screwdriver into the flaked hinge of an oyster, bracing myself against the corner between the stove and the wall. He yelled goodbye as the screen door slammed shut.

How to Date

Did you know that in some versions of Sleeping Beauty he rapes her awake? My date tells me this as if trying to truly understand me and spark some sort of interesting conversation on the nature of messed up fairy tale endings and the ways they may play out in contemporary expectations regarding romance, princes, and sleep. 

A Floater

A couple of guys at the home said she lured them to the cornfields at the edge of town spitting sugary promises between her few good teeth and sneaking peeks at their pleated bulges. Those same fogies would come back panting in the night, leaning hard on their walkers and crying wolf something about that witch bringing a rusty Fiestaware blade to their shriveled okra. I ain’t scared.

The Holes in the Backyard Are Not Where We Bury Our Dead Animals

There was no green life inside of me, no bud pushing upward from my belly into words that made sentences, no reply to shout to my mother who was calling me from the kitchen, no flowers to paint over the empty wall of day, no question to ask. The birds would lend me nothing. They hoarded their song inside of them, hanging mutely in the trees outside my window, their voices growing heavy in their plump, little bodies.

The Inventors

Finally we got the jetpack. “What took so long?” we shouted. “You senseless dolts! Is this the future or not?” We’d been shouting disparagingly at the inventors for years, long enough that it now came reflexively to us.

The Lights

I see those lights, those bright fluorescents and a feeling burns in my chest. It fills me up, a total euphoria that is paired with a hungry longing. Taco Bell, McDonald's, GameStop, JC Penney, Gino’s Family Dining, Target, Walmart, Kmart. They come galloping out of the horizon like cowboys of old, delivering me that rush, that sense of fulfillment.

The Dream Work

The obstetrician is a lesbian too, or at least you think she is.“You’re almost forty,” she says while she examines the paperwork you filled out in the waiting room. “Have you been trying to get pregnant?” Tell her that your husband is a lady and that you’ve been trying a lot, with no luck.

Taylor Swift and the Wormhole

I made a small shrine to Olivia, who I ate after three months. To her credit, that was far later than the group who were in the recording studio with me. I killed them immediately. Some of their meat, preserved, is still left. Maybe enough for another seven or eight months.

Arlene

Arlene was only a year older and thought everything was out of date. She cut up pillowcases and sewed them into dresses. She said, Hurry up, and I followed. Sixteen and seventeen: We knew the bartender’s favorite song on the jukebox: “World on a String.” Home was a block away from the bar. She worked at Erotic Cabaret, where pretty girls sold lingerie. We talked on curbs while taking sips of joints. We played pool wearing garters under our jeans. 

The Accumulation

She dipped her pinky into the silken gray dust and examined it. She once read that domestic dust contained billions of human skin cells, pollen, dust mites, and mite feces. After ten years, the weight of a mattress doubled due to the accumulation of these things. The fact that people could live so obliviously amazed her—little pieces of themselves falling off and floating away, or being trapped in beds indefinitely.

Girlies

In this episode, the models' challenge is to stay photogenic while spiders crawl all over them, creeping on their flat stomachs and toeing their belly buttons and climbing their breasts and making homes in the little shells of their ears. It's the tall girl's turn.