You, for Jenny Holzer
By Jane Flett.
You spit on them because the taste left on your teeth excites. You showed hope all over your face for years and then killed them in the interest of time.
– Jenny Holzer
You felt lonely so you shot the tide in the ankle. It was a cheap trick, but it was yours.
You thought I was going to leave you. I wasn’t. I was waiting for the moment to make an entrance.
You did it first, afraid you’d miss the boat. You shouldn’t have. Now you are alone with cigarette butts and cats for secrets.
You sit at home composing excuses and fairytale endings. You think of me, always.
In your mind I am pliant. I am open and warm and soft, and you crawl, kitten-like, into the tumble drier. The door closes, the drum begins to spin.
You almost cannot bear it. You are close to the edge; teetering, giddy, teeth bared with too many gums.
You are my fucking sunshine.
You have yet to realise this. You think I am laughing at you because I am laughing. When you scream, I think you want to go faster. Ecstasy is a delicate concept.
You end up naked with a polka-dot silk scarf tied around your neck. Reciting blank verse and terrorist threats, writing conspiracy theories on supermarket receipts and stashing it by the canal for them to find.
They never do.
You start dreaming in parallel sequences. The doors are exploding; the shoes turn to liquid at the apocalypse. The screams unzip your eardrums and your sanity turns to static. It is too late to reach for the remote.
You are going to die, and you are going to die alone.
I can’t help you now.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Flett was awarded the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2009 and promptly quit her job managing a music venue in order to spend more time swanning around in a silk bathrobe, tinkering away at words and playing synthpunk cello in a gameboy band. Unfortunately, this has proved to be less lucrative than expected. She likes to read out loud to enthralled audiences, and has done so at Shakespeare and Co, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Studio 54 in Berlin, Moniack Mhor Writers Retreat, and many other places. She prefers bourbon to vodka, cheese to chocolate and coffee to tea, and has a soft spot for flamingos and owls.
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, November 16th, 2010.