Something for you

by Ivy Alvarez

Bearing the smell of paper on her fingertips. Ink in her hair. Listens to a candied stranger. Lingers over his too-short neck on a cordwood body. Axes might bounce off him, ringing up shocked arms. Nightly he feeds her line after line of honey. Numb, and dumb, she lets him.

A girl in a dark cupboard chews on paper. New splinters under her nails, she loses the ink from her hair. No respite from tenderising knuckles. But for alcohol, that is, his own cheap aftershave. In the garden, clear nectar falling on his soft, dark head, he lolls insensible. Lifting it out of the loam, the rock feels pure in her hands. Looking at him, she knows sugar is not sweet enough.