Myfanwy Collins

ay comes as a whirl, a flurry, a blur. Whizzes through the air, lands on me, sticks there. I touch it. I trap it. I wrap it around me.

The pupil opens up, exploding to a full-blown eye. (A knowing eye.) It chills me.

Around my face, hair moves, a twisted halo, tickling, come to tease and torment, big brother to my baby sister.



I say: the keyboard is not a Ouija board. You do not type out “yes” or “no.” You do not tell me “truth.” You do not write at all. But will you?

(If you would let me I would type your words for you.)



The sky is not so much gray as it is white, bland, bored and befuddled. Not comforting like a blanket, but utilitarian like a sheet.

A cool, sandless sheet. But a sheet cannot keep you warm. It can only absorb your sweat and keep you dry.



At noon, the grackles slump over. Earlier, picking through the leaves, they meant no harm.

But the gulls are in constant motion, crying. They are crying always. Lonely and maligned, they are unhappy birds, the gulls are.



What if I were a girl, stolen by a man? What if he pulled up alongside me and grabbed my arm just above the elbow and pulled me into his van?

Would I notice that outside it is still and calm and there is a fineness to the air?

Would I notice that there is a little bit of something that hangs in the atmosphere and shelters the light? That it cuts through slightly and softly and illuminates the floor of this van next to my feet bound together with duct tape?



Breathe in smoke until I gag on that too.

I say, It’s all like one long dick shoved into the back of my throat.

And mop up the renegade piss on the floor. The water, black with dirt, ash, beer, blood, swirls like a tidal pool.

I inspect it for life.



I want to go back there and be good.

I want them to notice me, to want to be me.

I do want their envy.

I say: I want it because I am a grackle, a sandless sheet, a halo, a stain on the floor. I want it because I am a stolen girl.

I want it because I am weak.


“I am naked before you.”

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