Pink piss tracking her legs, a bruise or two starting to appear. Hair like wet wool, sticking. A festival of cuts, accidental. The longing-to-be familiar hum of fluorescent lights, rendering the world into a dim contrast of raven blacks and greys. Chest in ropes, a mountain in the cusp of my throat. I wanted to cry for her, for all the country roads she never travelled and the rich red dust her shoes never gathered. Could you hear me, in the thick summer rain? Could you hear him? And him? What about her? And you—
Could you hear yourself?
The vomit was flushed down. A grimy gurgle. An alien toilet. Dark dirt that was green in some angles, brown in others. The cold, stark outline of her bones and that small fist, protesting against the world. Holy shit, mon chou—none of us are worthy of you, and you are nothing but a shit stain on God’s carpet.
“My mother was an artist,” she gasped in between heaves. “And her mother, and her mother before her—”
“For fuck’s sake, you stupid girl, do not try to talk—”
“And me, I’m an artist too, don’t you see—”
And I tried to shut her up, until she said, “Paint a picture of me. And hang it in the gallery. And all the people will cry,”
Her body sagged and tensed, arched and was vaulted forward.
“All the people will cry.”