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Toomsuba by Elizabeth Mikesch


I am fond of onyx so much I would work to have things. In the duration of this state, I was born on a Sunday. Everyone recites my birth certificate gorged on sty, ridiculed while donning raincoats. I drove them bats, emptied buckets of myself out smallish windows, bordered versions of live-in friends. Here I fell out of a schizoid self-rated first favorite self. When it got bad, it helped me cross the road. I took to pants. I ate a la mode. I started to get into it with a girlfriend.
     Then, her cunt said, Nope.
     On any of these nights, I could have stayed home. Instead, I spread butter on the breads and smacked each end as if the two of them quarreled, then belonged. I belabored my pots and pans to feel whole, and they burned warped for me to parent, sink-wash, scrub. I seek myself out to masturbate. They say you gotta ask.
     I loot the pantries of parties I feel uninvited to. I got to be a person who never winced goodbye. My room’s my brain. I stay dim. I call people over so I go clean.

 

An Ode to the Well-Traveled
I chose a pretty little ring covered in sparkles to remember my travels. The next train to the next destination, the metal tumbled to the tiles and echoed under the sands beneath people’s feet. The thing became noise.
     I bought a replacer in a shop close to the station. Its blues and chartreuses tinkled speckles. A sound rang out of a late anorexic, the shrill again. I thought those bitches whispered.
     I tossed my hand in the air to catch myself. The trinket split into twiddled minutes.
     The final momento I took out of my ears and left on the nightstand. They were poking me while I sought a fuck.
     I commissioned a tattoo of the perdurable look on my face, a portraiture line for line, which most tsked. This lasted until my third sojourn. I wore a bandage to cover the hole where my ink used to lie. It grew into my skin. I itched out the dressing and a cream came forward. Now I drink punch.

 

Snippets

I got robbed. Now I am out for a dainty lunch. My roommate is blaming me that we were broken into: the bare ass window. She leaves her underwear all over the living room, sets intuitive traps. Don’t mention this because she might stop. I don’t think thieves quit thieving. They just want to be around her.
     Then, I erased all the confirmation I was given that you were on my side. I climbed and thought of the word ascendant and how you appear to others. If I gave birth to you that would make me trust you. Prick—IVs up my arm, where the prison of the head skips to the aviation inclined. I harp to my bedside knives we should not take stock.
     We chug until the click gets our eardrums. We require malleable skies, mind plastic gorges.

 

Another Section

You are no star. This is the city; knight it and call bullshit.
     The silver can bear, can follow you vomiting of autumn, buffoon to the thumb. You are no barrel glean on me. You have to see it like: here it is, I get purpose from it. I’m stolen from home, and they can’t wait until I get going. I’m there just to get them from place to place, a freighter at the border.

 

Toomsuba

Daddy was watching his sports. I loved staying in the green room with the carpet, ruining my hands over the rough. I only do a couple of things okay but I think I’m a good listener.
     Call you quiet. Call you house mouse or damsel—yank you anywhere, to a store where they need wipes. You start to get packed in. This isn’t a corral. I’m done with this cart pushing business. It started out I was stuck in there with my legs lifting. Now I got the missus’s list.
     I’m not to be told. You talk too much. You shower too much. You think aloud, and it pierces my ears. There isn’t a way for me to respire. There aren’t, through fields or farce, flowers to sniff at, sneeze, not any water for me without bodies encased into beiges like chicken and pork. Worse yet, the color when oil gets against the ground and still rises.

 

You’re Breaking Up

The continental and obligatory morning meal pecked at for reasons of inclusion. Various back and hither about potentiality with concern to apparent dong swingers, distracters. He hangs from her rearview, pollutes conversations, if this is what they could be called, to concern in chief, their quote telepathy unquote or the mega meaning of the two of them fighting and fucking like the rest of us sore of gum occasional smokers. Dogs snap when I try to clip their nails. I guess I wouldn’t oblige getting my ass wiped for me either.
     Now, I’ll describe setting: the rats run across power lines. Daddy’s piano rotting in the backyard.
     You want a story, sleep in. Draw from your dreams.

 

My Given Name

I went looking through a herd to find my husband. He got stationed away, and I came looking after his body, didn’t know where to ride the trains to find his tags, his head separate.
     Sand is something I put inside myself never knowing— incubation of a sororal and sub-similar earth. I went to a doctor off base when I skipped so many months. He hit a bat so it broke to smithereens. I woke. He wheeled out toast. I couldn’t get off the sofa.
     I hate myself for telling him no when he’d take to below my belly. I told him it tickled, but I stayed numb, I suppose, and wanted not to be a lover for a while, just a wife.
     Our flowers froze. Our ghosts came in drafts. They drew us from bed. I stood on our steps and pissed against the cold.
     Do I keep his name?
     I’d go on writing checks to the lessor. I’d have to take a job and stay called Mrs. Him.
     Never did smoke, but I got into the ritual of the match and asking for lights to lock eyes with, flickers of grins.
     
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Elizabeth Mikesch has appeared or will soon debut in SleepingfishCaketrainUnsaidThe Collagist, and Similar Peaks.