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WHEN I SHOW UP TO THE RESERVOIR AND THE TREES ARE SINGING

I  beseech  thee  transcendental  ambulance  to  cry  from mouths  to  page  to  water,  reservoir  center,  chainlink chasm    where     the    developers   build    and    we    develop our   bodies   in   a   smoking   circle.   Where   the   comet, where  the  carbon  [NOW  OPEN  THE  RIFLE]  render the  fat  into  seamless  frames  on  a  clothesline  hung the length of the cloud, MY ENDLESS STORAGE, a porridge   of   blood   and   data   came  out  of  my  mouth and    trickled    down    my    economical    sweater.   The meat-water   welled   in   the   base   of   the   fridge   and   we walked to the tower were a girl once jumped. It was Halloween.   It   was   dark   outside,   with   muscles  churning    and    my    mouth   a-chatter    in    clairvoyant wind   from   the   Wantastiquet   range.   I   cut   open  my arm [I TOURNIQUET SOFTLY!] The mask from Scream with  my  guts  on  the  front.  The  town  of  sirloin  when seen   from   above   the   avenues   of   gristle  and   rivers  of fat. I CUD THE LONGING MY STOMACH HAD LEFT. When  you   die  I  will  sing  the  powerline  mother,  the rupture   of   lines   that   make   a  state,   the   rupture   of river  we  follow  on  down  to  a  cabin  called  nowhere   in the sinking woods. the PUBLIC GOOD! the ROTTED TREES!    the   ice   heaves   underneath   in   a   belated spring and    we    sand    for    a    birthday    that    would     not arrive.   I   beseech  thee   beech-tree   I   beseech   thee dismembered.  For  the  head  of  a  deer  was  stuck  on  a stake.  Flies  in  the  socket.  [FLIES  IN  MY  POCKET!] Flies   come   from   the   plastered   hole   in   this  wall,  warm and   wet,   "guts   of   the   house,"   armory   body,   do   we need    any    weapons    or    miraculous    language.   When you  die  I  will  spread  my  toes   of   beauty.   When  you  die I   will   bathe   in   the   oxen   blood.   When  you  die  I  will axel  the  northern  mountains.   When  you  die  I'll  freak into  scum  of  a  fridge,  our  beloved  pet  dead  in  a suburban   garage.    When   you   die   I'll   die   courageous the  shutting  of  doors.  When  you  die  I'll  drive  our enemies into the muck of birds. When you die [OUR ENEMIES HAVE MULTIPLE NAMES!] and I see my abuser   in   the   eye   of   the   mirror,   the   lines   were uneven   but   we   made   copies   of   keys,   I   beseech  thee my   home   was   ransacked   by   deer.   I   beseech  the  fawn in    my   rotting   stomach,    the    trembling    sickness covered   them   all.   The   house   was   more   than   a metaphoric head. The house was more than a MILQUETOAST  GEM!  do  these  words  make  it   easier or   harder   to   drive.   When   you   die   I    don't   write anything  for  a  week.  When  you  die  I  don't  write anything for a day. When you die I drive myself to the lighthouse  point  and  wire  myself  to  a  radio  heart,  the sparks   fly   round   and   steam   erupts  from  the  holes  in my face ARE YOU LISTENING SON ARE YOU LISTENING  NOW!  at  the  party  tonight  we  look look bemused   and   concerned.  I   live   in   the   archive   of   a home in ruins. 

 

[SUMMONING: HUFFING METHOD]

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As X and I learn: the burial manor is in us; it's in our stomachs.

We're at the top of what was once a ski jump, on the west side of town; we're forty feet up, in the crow's nest sitting. The staircase was rotting and falling down, so we climbed the crest of the jump itself. We used the footholds, X occasionally stumbling, gripping the white plastic bag and a can of Everlite Paint Thinner in one arm, the wood creaking beneath. I'm exhausted, X says. I'm holding a garden knife in my mouth. I try to say Me too; it comes out as a mumble. We reach the crow's nest at the top, walled in by a wood fence initialed with knives. We can see Wantastiquet Mountain below, the rows of cul-de-sacs with F-150s and lawn ornaments, the cemetery, then the overpass – where X dropped a boulder when she was young, in the early hours, the car screeching to a halt on the interstate and X running to hide in the bushes.


[We see light through the leaves.]

 

We see the foundations of buildings sink deeper, crumbled brick, cornfields, the wind like a song rose from cracked earth, the creek not yet dry. Still from the climb, X breathes heavy.

 

Hand me the knife, she says. I pass it on over. She stabs the bottom of the plastic jug, the clear liquid pouring as from a wound, pooling for a second on wood before I catch it in the bag. It glugs fast. The plastic fills up. X says, We ready? I hand her the bag like an open wound and she slides her face inside, grips the handles to seal her face – and huffs the fumes. The plastic organ trembles. Are you okay I ask, and she's silent a moment, then removes her head, looks in my eyes, begins to nod and smile and passes the bag.

I huff what's inside. I huff it into my lungs and my jaws clench and it spreads through my ears to the back of the head, I think cerebral cortex or open synapse or needle void between muscles and remove my face and lie on my back, Hell yes X says and the crow's nest gets higher, I feel each of my hairs, my locks falling out as the wind starts to hit and arranges me in the circle of sun the wood. I trace stars with a knife. Resin, I think. I trace with a knife and see an eye, I feel the wood and the floorboards turn liquid and X looks at me and her eyes are filled with butterflies with young-touched wings – unmoving forever – the ligaments broken, dead leaves in our chests.

We lock our fingers. In my head, a boy. Supine in bed. He presses against me, slowly getting harder between my thighs. The sheets feel warm. His body feels warm. His hair smells good. We slip inside the dreams of the other [I live in this bag] and all I see is stained glass, the sound of ice, a young deer, a buck – alert in the road as the truck approaches; the deer can't process the rate of the truck, going beyond its comprehendible level of motion, for nothing moves this fast in the wild – the deer is six inches to the right of the plate by the time it arrives, its back hitting first before it goes limp, the metal warping and the buck's ribs crushing, its head rag-dolling and breaking the glass; the driver's eyes shut and the radio cuts out; the hood crushes inward, the coolant fluid pours out on the road. The deer is not dead. It shakes for a moment. It lets out a moan. The highway stretches onwards. A ribbon in wind. The boy enters the dream and brandishes a knife. He slits the neck.

The deer is not dead. There's an organ of this deer I feel in myself.

return to ISSUE ONE