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My therapist and I are on a break. Tony Soprano wears cufflinks to his therapy sessions and I can’t draw on my eyebrows. I am waiting for you to shock me out of solitude, for the ground to open up and swallow this whole repugnant town. You know if you leave me like this for too long I might stay this way forever. It’s not safe to walk barefoot in this kitchen. The floor is littered with broken glass from our last fight. Later I will clean it up.

You put your anger on my body. Everyone does. Outcomes could be worse than drowning in the clawfoot.

I inherited my mother’s addictive personality but not her thigh gap.

I am trembling and wish you were here to spit in my mouth. Your fingertips left burn marks along my curves. My mess was a gift we didn’t deserve like how it sometimes rains when the sun is out. Your grip is as familiar as the clack-clack of the shotgun behind the laundry hamper. The ashy floral wallpaper peels away like it hates the inside of this apartment, too.

The hunting rifle is still in pieces on our bed. I haven’t touched it. I take the last of the Ativan you left on our dresser and slip into cotton panties and your decades old ZZ Top shirt. I grip my phone to death waiting for your messages. It buzzes but it’s not you. I pass out, warm flesh next to cold gun metal, with wet hair stuck to my face and neck.

When you’re gone for days on end I am terrorized by visions of forced surgical procedures. Strapped to a gurney while you mess around in my leaky and machinic girlhood. My Venus is in Gemini. My vicious, caustic mood swings bubble and pop and blend acidic. You don’t call me by my real name anymore. I really waited for this? To wake up in a room I don’t recognize and light the wrong end of my last cigarette. Scream at God for stepping out on me.

I am the clay bird thrown to score. You hold up the sky.

It made sense to cut off everyone. Blame it on safety concerns. But it’s me. I’m losing daylight and all I have to show for myself is a trail of splintered fragments (I am unsafe, and everyone is concerned).

I was waiting to be your backwoods bride. Us and these haunted country hills. Your family never liked me, but they knew I’d stick around. Through your moods and for them, that was enough. Sometimes I hear your Harley growl into the parking spot beneath our bedroom window. I can smell the exhaust. I’m so sorry I remind you of your bad decisions. We can’t quit each other? What a wonder. Our vocal cords are raw. We’re held together loosely with tears and asphyxiation.

When I wake up the lightbulbs are burnt out and the skin over my cheekbone is pulled tight, swollen. The blue glow of phone screen is harsh and illuminates this terrible place. I made a playlist for you and meant to send the link but I’m too proud to reach out. My desire to be soft incapacitates me. Maybe I brought the devil here. The precious intimacy of rural violence, the superstition. An old broom in a new home. Nauseous twilight pulls us deeper into something sparkling and apoplectic. I’m sorry for all the times I ugly cried in public. I want to tell you I love you and I’ve loved you since you held the liquor store door open for me that Sunday in September. Now there is a wall of smoke thick enough to suffocate us both. Angels throughout heaven choke to death while we are locked in this pathetic stalemate.

Hell is hot. That’s never been disputed by anybody.

My phone buzzes. So what if I can’t cook? I can clean a crime scene then let you hate-fuck me after. Moonshine and knife fights. Daddy told me if the gun jams I should swing the Maglite like a baseball bat and listen for the crack.

Still not you.