I’ve been getting a lot of jealous letters from my ex boyfriends lately. The bank is upset and says “you owe me” and the hospital, the bank’s friend I had a fling with, is still bitter and says “no, you owe me” and the telephone company feels it’s being left out and says “remember, you still owe me” and the electricity says “you’ve owed me for a long time now” and my high school wants to know what I’ve been up to these days. The mailman shrugs his shoulders and says “I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.” So to cheer up the mailman and I play scrabble and drink gin and we get so drunk we run and grab the kitchen knife to open all the angry letters and we read them over and over, saying “this doesn’t even make sense” so we stab them to death, and they bleed thousands of tiny self-addressed envelopes which we throw up in the air like confetti as we laugh maniacally. Then we fawn over all the children’s postcards written to their grandmothers, and soon we feel ambitious and start digging through his mailbag to find the last love letter to ever be written and I pull it out and it’s written on an old pillowcase and it says “Oh darling you are the Anne Geddes Collection on the coffee table of my soul” and then we stare into each other’s eyes and say “I know, I know, I know, I know” and we fall asleep with our cheeks touching and in the morning he stands up abruptly, avoiding eye contact, and says “I’ve got to deliver this” and disappears. I spend the rest of the afternoon sobbing on the piles of envelopes and confetti until it becomes papier mache and I build myself a cocoon and crawl inside.
Last night Billy threw a chair at the wall. He pulled it out from beneath him and it flew across the room like a giant clay pigeon, though neither of us had a rifle on hand. The wall gave in, soft and sorry. Somewhere in my brain I remembered a poem I wrote as a child with my father about birds shitting everywhere, I’m not sure why. I love it when birds do bird doo, I thought. There was drywall spattered everywhere like bird shit or blood or sand. Then the chair became legs and arms and unkempt hair and started rocking back and forth and crying. I didn’t know what to do so first I kissed the chair, “I’m sorry,” I said, and it tasted like raw fork, and then I stood there swallowing hard boiled eggs still in their shell until Billy insisted on getting into bed and pretending to sleep, and the drywall stuck to the skin on his arms and back and sparkled like glitter. The hole yawned in the wall, not because it was tired, but because it was nervous. I tried to burrow into my pillow until it swallowed me. In the morning I drew a bullseye around the hole in the wall, and one around my mouth, so he wouldn’t forget. Things stayed decidedly the same.
Somewhere That Serves Craft Toast
If my mother bought me a floral crop top and pepper spray for Christmas, what kind of woman does that make me? If I am concentrating on not corking the bottle while you say things like we are all emotionally fragile, how are we to measure feelings of fraudulence? Our ideas of ourselves folded in on one another like a fan. If my love came in any form it would come as the collection agency’s calls I keep dodging. Convinced they have the wrong number, no matter how many times they call specifically asking for my full name and what I owe them. What they are asking for is reasonable and yet it scares me. And so it’s clear I was never deserving of your patience. I tried to write you love letters on pieces of stale bread and stick them in the toaster so as to bring them back to life. This could be the reason I heard you saying who even eats toast anymore. I have no reason to start packing, but I’m taking everything down off the walls so I can stare plainly at what contains me. Tonight I will wear my years like a sequin dress and dazzle someone. Eat spoonfuls of grapefruit seeds so something sweet and bulbous might grow inside me. So what am I really worshiping? Tonight I will be as many forms of monsters as glasses of wine I drink. Most likely, many.