All tagged animalia

True Stories Never Satisfy

A woman broke up with her boyfriend. Then she went on a few dates using a popular website but nothing worked out. Her parents encouraged her to get out of the city, spend a weekend at the family cabin upstate even though it was out of season.

Baba Yaga's Delaware Youth

When I wake up, the house is on human feet. I think at first that I must still be sleeping, dreaming about dropping from the sky into Where the Wild Things Are. Stranger dreams have happened after drinking too much, and we did drink a lot last night. Remember?

Shark Bites

My friend Jenny calls my scars “shark bites.” She says that’s what her trans friends call their scars. I had never heard that before, but I imagine the story I might tell: I was taking a surfing lesson because that’s what everyone does when they move to California. I paddled out beyond the break and I was waiting to catch a wave when, out of nowhere, this great white shark pops up and goes right for my tits. Chomp. Chomp. Like that, my breast tissue became chum, and that’s how I got these shark bites.

Bearproof

The game fit Texas rancher country: count cows, and whoever has the most at the final destination wins—but if a cemetery passes on your side, you start back at zero. Molly’d wanted to know whether a little graveyard in the side grounds of a church counted and I said of course and blew all the air out of my lungs through my nose.

Good Girls

—they had long blonde hair I found it everywhere—on the porch or in the yard or on the sidewalks or buried in the grass—I rolled in it and it stuck to me—

—it better not shit on the lawn one of them said—that was the first thing they said about me when they saw me squatting near the front door—I didn’t shit but I did piss on it when they weren’t looking—

@meaculpa

I’ve created him, but I’m not satisfied. He has a long, fleshy snout, flecks for eyes, and dust-colored pleated-front pants, but he still lacks something, so I re-open the drawing tool and stain his groin with a generous splash of red.

Five Types of Horses

Upon parental request, surgeons attach a fifth leg to your horse body. They sew it into your chest so that you have three front legs and two back legs. Your blood fuses and accepts the extra limb. It is invisible to the rest of the world but it is there.

Bloody Good

“Bloody Good” the article’s called, and in one picture, sparse sprigs of feathers hold blood to the light. Grim crease of mouth beyond hooked black beak, stern raise of brow above the eye. Their necks long, hooked and humble, as they fly. Serengeti gothic. In another: wild dog with wrinkled nose, teeth drawn, hackles raised over its shoulders like a hood. Caught in a deep-belly snarl over a picked-clean carcass and its drone of hovering, crawling, biting flies at a grimy vulture with beak left a crack open in surprise. Jackal sounds like cackle, as in, teeth that could laugh a throat right off.

The Adjustment Period

I woke up one morning with no arms. I don’t mean the kind of waking up where you can’t feel them, where blood has caught somewhere and is now a steady thunder under your skin. I mean my arms weren’t there at all. The down comforter clung to my legs as I kicked at it, frantically rolling out of bed. Standing shakily, I looked at myself in my floor-length mirror, expecting blood, or oozing flesh in danger of gangrene. In place of my arms, however, was nothing. Just smooth nothing.

Mice

There is a mouse in my toe and he comes out at night and whispers in my ear all the better ways I could have done everything I did that day. And there is no negotiating with this mouse—the mouse is right and needs to be listened to because if he isn’t I might go to sleep feeling comfortable and maybe confident and I just wouldn’t know what to do with myself. 

My Mother, Killing A Lizard

My mother got knocked up in New York City, 1960, and never let me forget it: how she’d sweat standing still, her belly swollen and sore; how the rats would taunt her, perched on the stovetop, finding crumbs to eat no matter how well she cleaned. She soon learned not to bother. She moved to Florida before I could form memory. I never got around to moving myself. By thirty, I knew I wasn’t one for change; by fifty, it was best I stay to help out.

On the Repercussions of Divorce for Men

Before she left me, my ex-wife cast a spell that turned me into a mouse. When the shock of this spouse-to-mouse transition wore off, I realized I could still recall all the moves to Michael Jackson’s "Thriller," so of course the endorsement deals came rolling in.

Nothing But Monsters

I was passing through Fort Dick with a truckload of swine for slaughter, when I made a stop at a roadside diner, Lou’s Steak Shack or something. It wasn’t that long since quarantine, and I was still savoring every last breath of open air, like sea in those parts, settling on the skin.

The Tenant

He rifles through my garbage. He steals my newspaper and dozes in my Magnolia tree. He helps himself to the cat’s food, dipping his paws into the dish, his ears twitching. Last night, he stood off with a raccoon. When it dug its fingers into the food, the bear popped its head off. It was only that once, though. He was staking his claim. 

Angel Fish

Your pet fish is growing wings. You won it at the carnival and brought it home, triumphantly, in a dripping plastic bag. Your mother found a bowl in the cupboard that was deep enough to put your fish in. She allowed you to take the bowl and the fish into your father’s room, where he was dying.

Yowling

The feral cats are terrorizing my mother, but she thinks it's charming how they paw at her door for affection. I tell her they are not there for her Purina. They smell Mitzy and Lana and Snowflake who are constantly in heat and yowling in the night while my mother sleeps in her king-sized bed, foam earplugs stifling their longing.

Migration

Four months after her mother set fire to a yellowing wedding dress and drove top-down to Florida, Liz Johnson began studying the mating patterns of hummingbirds, to the surprise of her husband who was expected to build a floral topiary on which the birds could mate. “I’m not getting rid of our furniture to move into an avian sex house,” he told Liz, but within the month their home smelled like lilac.

The Ex-Mermaid Buys Chocolate Milk

The ex-mermaid is opening the door of the dairy case when she hears a voice she recognizes behind her, the voice of the ex-mermaid’s ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend. The ex-mermaid looks quickly at the image of herself that is reflected in the glass, a transparency superimposed on bottles of one and two percent. She looks okay. Not as good as the new girlfriend, who has a pert nose and pert breasts and is generally very pert, pert all over. But the ex-mermaid looks fine, and she registers this as she grabs a bottle of low-fat chocolate milk, which is what she came here for.

Doggy-Dog World

I know this couple in a casual way. A neighborly way. They went to the adoption place to adopt a cute friend. Something soft and sweet, something to love. We want something to love, they said, and I said, besides each other? They said, in addition to. We want something waiting for us by the door. A fan, a witness, this is our wish.