by Corey Zeller
I will pick up the mess soon. The fall apart stuff. Dry, thin spaghetti noodles sprawled across the floor.
I will hike up the plain dress and get a piece of glass stuck in my kneecap I won't get out for days.
He had drunk sloppy and passed out in our bed.
He is snoring inside the silo of his throat. The inside there shines golden but that's not the truth. There is something caught below the gold.
I'm hiding under a bed. Its an old style bed. There are springs coming out below the mattress. If you hold on to them you'll be safe. They might thrash the bed about but holding on you'll slide across the wooden floor. It works because you are small enough. They will toss it around violently until they give up, coughing the hallway bloody.
They will die soon after.
He is a room without walls floating across a flat lake in the dark. The only light there comes from a lamp on the table inside the room. It brings silver, black-eyed sharks up from the green, black bottom to circle. You see the sharp fins cutting around the room like saws coming through the floor in cartoons. But the room doesn't fall through like Daffy Duck. It goes on and they follow--the room sliding away from us in sections. A pattern synchronized like still pictures in a kid's flipbook.
The bathroom mirror is a Picasso face in harsh red paint. You'll need stitches on the hook of your nose and on the eyelid. It hangs there limp like a white, wet petal cut loose with gray scissors.
I look for my dimples before I realize I never had any.
Smiling, I think those were my sister's.
Bowlegged, you sit on the toilet and look out the window. It's morning--hours before he will wake into the stillness. The dreamy, menstrual sky lashes violent lava from its black mouth. On the clothes line, you'll see two fresh curtains catch the wind like a pair of big lungs. The black-n-blue trees stay still and sore in the quivering grass.
All rights reserved.
This was published in elimae and I believe that it was the first piece picked to appear in Online Writing: The Best of the First Ten Years.
It was based on something I'd written as a teenager after I'd gotten my ass kicked.