All tagged shit's deep

I Had Already Become Less

I don’t remember a mouth. I remember disembodied words about: pain, impossibility, depression. I remember a box of tissues slapped across the table because it felt good to reject something. I remember the feeling of being a specimen to observe and pity, like the hard, dead frogs I was forced to rip apart and comment on in science class.

The Stockings

TW — Descriptions of Self-harm — I am writing to you because for so long I didn’t have a name for what transpired between us that night. You have a wife now. And a child. I am a sign you pass on the highway.

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.


My sister Amma used to say the borderlands is the place brown girls go to die when they have no reason left to live. They give themselves up to the fence like a burnt offering, body crumpled at its teeth, and await capture. I read somewhere that some animals will commit suicide—suffocate themselves or stop eating altogether—to escape captivity. I think it’s like that.

The Instruction

There is not much to say about the building. Two stories. Shaped like an L. Siding painted Atlantic Ocean gray and each identical apartment door painted a dour winter blue. I was eighteen. He was twenty-four. We held hands. We were in the kind of love people only are when they just don’t know any better.


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.

Nice Twitter

Anyway, around this time I read a story about a professor who got fired for his tweets about Israel. The college world is supposed to be leftist, supposed to be progressive, and I was in the process of applying for jobs in academia. My Twitter feed was just politics, Batman, the Milwaukee Brewers, and jokes.

Tree People

Rosa has five minutes left of lunch and one shoe off when she spots the older man in the window, phone to ear, hand pulling back the curtain. Definitely watching. Shit economy victim in a pressed shirt, the busy boredom. She makes the show of shaking out a pebble from her sandal, purple toenails for the cops. Criminals and transients – bums everywhere else but here – don't get pedicures. She sticks her bare foot back in the strip of parkway the whole while, and sucks and sucks and sucks.

We Are All at Risk

Some people live like this until they don't live anymore. And then their bodies are peeled from the ceiling and bundled into caskets. Charcoal-gray suits and church dresses lined with lead to hold them still. Weight created so they are compliant and present in death as they weren't in life. Sometimes during the service these methods fail and the body bumps up against the lid and wavers a little, a sideways fish tank fish rocking stiff and lifeless against the glass. 

My Noise Will Keep the Record

My home is a witch's lung or a giant’s heart. Puckered cracks of plaster snake up the walls from a half-­century-­old renovation. It palpitates from the constant drum the interstate highway just beyond a courtesy swamp once planted, then neglected, as a sort of apology for the highway. The swamp thrives, reclaims detritus for the realm of bio­organisms, while I am increasingly cybertronic.

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 Third Stage

In the dream, you are given a chance to undo your cousin’s suicide. He killed himself on Wednesday. A day that is shockingly recent. You feel like everyone has aged eons since; you keep looking at calendars and realizing, with shock, that it is only Thursday. Only, somehow, Friday. You wish that time would hurry up and place more of itself between you and your cousin’s suicide, like a pillow. Like a cloud.


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.

What We Expect To See

After snaking one-by-one through narrow passages, we come to what Felix calls a room. We’re sixty feet below Earth’s surface, and he says that this is it. When he turns out the lights, we will experience pure darkness. But first, we must sit, he says, so that we don’t wander and plummet to our deaths. 

Where It Happened

The woods behind his house, past the gray barn with a dirt floor. Inside there might have been an old basketball hoop. I only went in once or twice, because I remember thinking, this thing is going to collapse any second.

Operation Desert Storm

Fadel was the brother who stayed the longest, the one who called my grandma “Mom.” He wore strong, spicy cologne, the kind that chokes and stings, lingers long after he has left the room. My mom told me that when he lived with them, he got a brand new car every six months and threw away his undershirts after he had worn them just once. He was a good friend to my dad, Curtis, the dad who I never saw.

Methods of Escape

Waiting for the doctors to tell you everything went fine with your father’s surgery, a woman your age says she’s got six months left. She’s in her hospital gown, clutching her IV in the waiting room of the urology center. She’s got red painted nails, chipped like yours. When you ask what she’s got, she says a rare kidney kind that chemo doesn’t work on.

Excerpts from the Soul Machine

His soul projected from the machine appears as a hermit crab. It scuttles around the door molding for a while then journeys over my shoulders, and in each pinch of claw to my tongue I see another house he lived in during his childhood. "Wicker chairs," I report. "A lot of carpet and AstroTurf porches."


When my wife and I separated, we decided to split the dog half-n-half. Lengthwise, so each of us could enjoy at least half his little face, and have only half as much shit to deal with.