I have been thinking a lot about my body, she says.
I have also been thinking about her body.
There are people who believe they have quills growing beneath their skin, she says. They can feel them. What if I had sharp quills on my knees and elbows, spines on my wrists. I can’t stop thinking about that device they invented in South Africa to punish rapists—it fits inside an orifice and has teeth that tear apart a penis if it penetrates. What if my body could destroy anything that entered it.
Vagina dentata, I say. That’s what you mean.
I’ve been gaining weight, she says.
No, I say, not at all. You look beautiful.
I’ve been gaining weight and I keep thinking about what would happen if I didn’t stop. About how big I could get. Is there a limit? Or will my body keep growing if I let it. Goldfish do that, you know. They’ll grow to the size of their tank. They’re only small because their tanks are. Could I fill this room? The whole house?
I don’t know, I say. Your bones are small. You have a delicate frame.
Do you remember the scene in King Kong where he’s climbing the building? she asks. There are fighter planes, but they’re so small compared to him, they’re like gnats. How large would I have to be for everything else to be insignificant? If I were big enough, I could take anything on.
She’s on a roll, she could probably keep going like this all night, and so I cover her mouth with mine.
Rachel Kincaid is a Bostonian getting used to the Midwest. Her work has appeared in Forklift, Ohio; Catch & Release; the Threepenny Review and elsewhere. Her favorite X-Files episode is "Detour."
Illustration by Keara McGraw.