by Lisa Lim
I can't talk because I have nothing to say except that I can't talk because I have nothing to say except that I can't talk because I have nothing to say.
I unzip him out of skin. Find what is dark and black inside. Mistake jutting spine for zipper grooves. Discover back hunched from decades shaping body snugly onto speeding Bianchi bike. A lateral spine belonging to industrious insects collecting food for queen bee. Because it pleases him to serve queen. (mother fortune tells fate of lovers in broken egg yokes and empty coffee mugs, tells me he will promise a lifetime of playing queen bee. When I'd rather be little girl over knees. And don't I nightmare future of rickety wheelchairs? How I will comb his hair wet with grays losing sparkle of scintillating streets? Fear wiping messy stank innards of a butchered pig lost on diapers I must change three times a day? All this if I stay with him? This man twenty years older than me? No, I say. Of course, I lie. )
Thought scoliosis was from bike riding? Until man confessed to self-love acrobatics at early age of three. Yes, as it sounds. Own wet mouth drinking phallus milk. Thought I heard it all, from freak show clown sex to backyard incest to furniture erotica, but no, there is always something new to discover in brand new lovers. His name I fiction Do Re Mi from Ohio.
I know, still can't fathom.
So hard to talk to Do Re Mi. His words on tip of tongue, lingering eternal. And I sit and wait.
Tell me, what is wrong.
No, because you told me you don't like depressed people.
Please tell me.
Because they are my problems.
Knock. Knock. Where are you? Where are you? Yoo hoo. Anyone home?
Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do you sing in head. Can tell by way you dance in shoes.
Where are you?
Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do you sing in head. Can tell by way you move inside me.
At Union Square we try to guess who has just made love. From lusty just fucked gaits and sweaty love hand holding. I tell him we are undercover lovers. Never to be found out. I don't know if he hears me or just chooses to ignore.
I look at Do Re Mi and sigh. Blushed at our estranged bodies floundering awkward on park benches.
He tells me, it's because they're in love.
Yes, you see, you see. But you don't see me.
These crescent eyes seesaw. Watch yellow trench coats walking old-fashioned bicycles. Poodle bangs hiding blue moon eyes. Swagger of greasy men washing streets with chest hair cologne. Petite Japanese girls in fuchsia leg warmers. Wild colors beat him into erections his jeans can't fit. How I wish to color world a dull black and blue just to spite him with nocturnal hues.
He lives pretty inside head. Singing do re me fa so la ti do. Pocket full of broken daisies. In awe of beauty muddied. Would like to damage me too. Pick me out of garden one day, withered and gray. No, thank you. Yet, I stay.
Tries to distract poor girl intuition with
have you heard? Story of a music man who as a boy hollers into pillows until he can breathe dirty old man sounds? Deeper, sexier, until baritone voiced bordering laryngitis toned? You see, Do Re Mi is a great inventor of sound machines. Makes living distorting guitar strings and drum beats, chords twisted unrecognizable. Robots messing syllables. Not unlike his truly. Art imitating life hating limp sounds and conversations. Would wither inside white picket fences and predictable wifery serving coffee and pecks every morning. Bores easily. So I must play a damn clown for king.
Tells me, he hates all that is predictable.
What do you mean?
Tells me, a man slips out engorged member in crowded train. And all step away in wide-eyed horror. Except a Korean woman screams, who here has scissors to snip limp imp off and with small Asian fingers wild snipping she violent taunts transgressor pacing backwards into police hands for a grateful arrest. I am hungry for what is unpredictable, he ends.
I guess I understand his riddles.
So we share caveman love. Ugga ugga and grunts, ticks and gestures in place of natural sound byte love bird letters. Choose a life technicolored with pop soundtracks. Save quietude for brooding intellectuals lost in musty narrow library halls. Replacing words with random animal sounds. Hallos, blubs, boohoos, sniffs, snivels, whimpers, whines, groans, moans, sighs, howls, and yowls — a tired waiting room of hot vents. Forget to normal speak.
Sometimes slip and call him Daddy. Would blush. Until old hands pull down ruffled lolita panties and black and bluish punish. This violence drenched in a dirty old man's rush. I return with finger nails scraping to hold onto skin trapping blood of past. Child claws hanging onto anything but him. This violence grows mysteriously. I have no control.
And during bed play intermission, we rush vanilla milkshakes, glazed jelly donuts, homemade Polish sausage, buttered hallah bread, sunny side up eggs, rice and beans in mouth. Eat and eat to stave off a mouth in agony. Anything to rid graceless quiet between incompatible lovers.
Am curious. As to why?
Because questions murder. And that was how he left it.
Only calm is in the rage of his antiquated body moving outside itself. Wants to burst from aged calloused skin into flames. Transplant tired fire in him, in me. Act a little boy in farm barns with hay to cum on. Slender girls whose small pelvic bones make vaginas feel three inches deep. Made him feel man when boy. But he never comes these days. Like he is meant to have a body full of white matter. Veins pumping cum and if you cut him open you will find a body full of rotting milk. Used to the grip of his own warm mouth. Because what is better than own warm mouth understanding own body rhythms.
But some times he does. And warm custard of his body makes a baker's cake on me. Roll it and pat it and mark it with B. Put it in the oven. For baby and me. Embalms face, plugs ears, gels hair and plasters walls unasked. He came with the anguished face of Jesus. At last. And did I tell you, I felt like praying for the first time.
Soon after, I see him fumbling for remote searching for David Letterman. Tells me it is because he is on auto-pilot. Not used to sharing bed. Or life.
Before girls he only knew cold rubber and metal of pliers and wires and splintery wood skins. Spent time building lawn mowers, clocks, watches, cars, radios out of nuts, bolts and basement scrap. Breathed sawdust perfume in mad scientist basement. Where he learned to let damp air and stale grandfather breath cleanse body parts. How he dreaded water touching invention and sparks fire working hand made trinkets into dust. Nose a hundred miles away from girl mid Eden, her lusty coils and coils to wire face in. Buried in electric wires wearing coats of colorful rubber and Hollywood fog of careful soldering. Erecting toys with grandfather in a tucked away basement in Ohio. A sweet boy from Ohio. Made of electronics and large hands. And Martian words. Eep. Op. Eep eep op. If only I could understand.
Friends jest, ha ha ha ha ha, ladybug bedding with old man dependent on ginseng testosterone to jiggle. But ladybug adores his grandfather appeal, tenderness dashed with five-year-old zeal.
A glass of Belvenie a night to sober nerves before queen bee first date instructions. Exit at East Broadway corner. Walk towards bacon smell. Don't ask. Do as I say. Let fried swine blind dog guide you. Then follow rotting teeth smiles of vagabonds cadging quarters for cheap whisky wheezing sour breaths. Towards dusty car exhaust of meat packing trucks. Will see dead pigs slumped on Mexican backs. Listen to old trains on a rusty Manhattan Bridge trembling broken spike tracks. Look for awning, “Fun” an abandoned club turned deep organ tuned funeral home. Now, clothespin nose crossing Mechanic's alley soaked in pee no reckless taxi dares roam. Sight to bloody bus line rivalry where torn driver limbs crouch in tired suitcases. And alley stragglers lightening bladders bleed bullet wounds in gang war shoot and runs. Follow buildings with news papered windows concealing bunk beds of sleeping Chinamen and women and crying babies. Rage a timbre through my dusty window pane for there is no buzzer to press. Or whistle three times. And I will come fetch you like a dog.
Why does love not have the courtesy to dissolve with many years. Climaxes then runs. Before she can taste herself. I try to shed old cannibal habits. But find myself answering this mating call. Strangely beautiful to me. Because it is so, so familiar. And out of repetition. I play a queen bee for king.
A glass of red relief please, Do Re Mi.
Raise a glass to botched human connections.
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His Name Was Do Re Mi was recently featured in Kill Author.