I am a little girl. Side step, side step. Buttering biscuits next to mommy. “Mommy, can we play puzzles later?” Mommy doesn’t turn but acknowledges with her mouth hole. It unpucker-opens like an anus and a liquid smoke seeps out, tube-like, increasing in length and girth like a readying-phallus. I try to grab it, as always, but she punches me in the stomach and I drop the biscuit. Side step, side step. It’s covered in dirt, hair. Mommy’s black mouth pipe separates and floats towards the ceiling. Hangs there with the others. Yet another thing I can’t reach.

Side step, side step.

I am still a little girl but bigger. We moved twice but my ceilings still blacken with the things I reach for but can’t get. My mommy tells me, “Swimming lessons, broccoli, homework, bedtime,” but I don’t care. Nothing matters as long as the black covers the ceiling, as long as my arms are short. The black is all there is and I can’t get to there. Side step, side step. It hurts. (It will always hurt)

Still bigger, then bigger still. My walls are coated now. The madness is, I can reach it but I can’t. My legs have doubled in size, my arms long with fifty dollar, painted nail fingers. I have cognition. Side step, side step. My mommy looks to me for playing puzzles, buttering biscuits, mouth smoke yet I cringe away; my walls are too black already. The easy-reach so difficult impossible, all my strength goes and I slip into the whirlpool and spin. Side step, side step round and around, toilet-bowl style but earth-turning pace. What I want within my reach as I turn turn.

Repetitive, no hope big girl, woman. The black, sticky. A nicotine film. Side step, side step. My dreams are one only; my manicure scraping the black, making patterns of the white underneath, collecting the want in my palms, rubbing it against me, absorbing the want and how I imagine the getting feels.

The whirlpool, so warm, incarcerate.

Side step, side step.