Mornings, my eyes felt stuffed with cotton or gems in order. You were building within me a certain melancholy, a crystalline quality to the structure, triangled. I held it between the ribs, close to organs, that sharp point.
I had seen you out on the town with others, their lips were thin water. It made my flesh feel lace-like, moth-ridden, wind breezing through me, a dead building with windows shot out. Everywhere I walked, glass fell from me, left glistening trail. Deer followed the shards. I could feel their eyes on the house.
“Run,” I kept whispering through the window. “He’ll get you.”
I had the heart of an old boar, the liver of an ox. I had the lungs of a peacock. Every breath was feathered. Your stitch work was raw, crooked.
“I’m in the basement,” your letters said. I stacked them beside me. “Come to me, please. It is so lonely here.”
My hands stayed silent, dead birds. You were always down there, in another era, hammering away at the old organs. I hated that about you. The ground down there was littered with fur. The scent of old blood was even in the oven, our appliances lousy with dead cells. Outside, the deer stayed close.
“This is idiocy,” I hissed to the deer. “Run, run.”
“We should take a vacation,” your letters said. I knew what that meant. I couldn’t hold any more organs, couldn’t take another transplant. I was evaporating. Soon, I would be air or a fog or a ghost.
“You’re the only one I know how to love,” your letters said. Your letters were scrawled on old skin, disgusting to hold. Everything smelled ancient, even your beard when it was on me.
The thin lips were whispering every night, a chorus. I felt sure the women were below me, down there with you.
“I could never do with anyone else what I do with you,” the skin said. Outside, the deer began to paw the dirt, urinate it to mud. The tension mounted that way.
“You’re the only one I’ve ever truly cared for.”
This was a lie, I could feel it. I could feel the thin lips in the basement, in the cement of the house, the foundation filled with them. I could feel the blood vibrating up through the floorboards. They screamed when you stitched them up. I went more lace-like, body down to the floor. Outside, the heat of the deer pressed against the windowpanes. I pressed my face against the floorboards, jealousy hot and evil.
“That was our thing,” I whispered, down to you, down into the smell of blood.