This Revision Isn't Working
When I am busy with distracted eyes you pull with your beak and I, being a baby bird,
Worms, maggots, cockroaches, and skin-on-skin contact: these are the dreams and nightmares from my childhood. It's no wonder she has difficulty distinguishing between fiction and non-fiction, the social worker confided a little too loudly.
My eyes become easy to unscramble, my feathers easy to pull. This is why you chose me, I think, because you have the hunter's eye.
No. Maybe I chose you.
I'm getting better at revisions, I like to think. But then there you are again—same crooked neck, same cradling elbow. The color, the length, the texture of your fur changes, but after I give you my body you still pant the same. Fingernails on your back try to distract, until I see them attached to my own hand, again. I need to work on variety of characterization, and move setting away from the bedroom/childhood.
When I beg, we both know it's over. I beg like this: How are you doing today?
The neediest answer couldn't turn the question mark into a period.
have a brilliant idea. Let's move away, far away, from here. Like
into a bar, on a stool, with no bed, and no little children. You will
be an alcoholic, and I will be someone who knows nothing about the
games adults play with brains. My body will be an artistic medium,
and no longer a collection cup for the poor.
What about after?,you ask.
Your bedroom, I whisper.
The beginning was strong, but somehow you lost me. I lose feathers, and lay bare-beaked on your neck. In the harsh morning light, with bad breath and body odor, I cling to semicolons and commas.
The click of the door lock doesn't faze me: it is the same
Shoshana Seidman is an experimental writer in Los Angeles, California. In 2005 she graduated with a BA in Literature/Writing from the University of California, San Diego, where she co-founded and edited the literary magazine “Pulp.”
She has worked as an elementary school teacher as part of Teach for America, dabbled in law school, and learned how to juggle many heavy plates at a Los Angeles deli in order to fund her creative habit.
Her literary aesthetic focuses heavily on the body as a point of entry for memory, unmemory, and re-memory. Current projects include “Cadavers: A Revision in 206 Parts,” a literary and physical transformation/regurgitation of the bones of the human body and the stories they hold, as well as “Latitudes and Longingtudes,” a Cartesian re-imagination of the body as map. She enjoys incorporating art and other mixed media into her fiction work.
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artwork series "Grotesque" created by Lila Gray.