Songbirds divorce their branches to dive-bomb the flamingo out front. The mall sells enough to fill my trunk, yard littered with stuck wings that fail to spin. You stand in the driveway, blue flickering in your black eyes. The decision pressed like coins into my palm: your place. I drive past the limit with my head out the window. This is how I become local. I grow silver gills and islands of muscle. I toss the flamingoes and wear you under my shirt.
You swagger into the swelter of the living room, throw me down on the couch, eyes like an oil slick. It kills me how you chainsaw logs, serve salmon tied in twine. Feathers in vases instead of flowers. I've come across town wearing nothing but a coat, so you wrap me in blankets until I sweat. You love the pink of the kill, the meat from the cheeks. You haul out your loot: an eagle wing in a freezer bag, pelts that you tell me are cat. They're not cat. You wait for shock, and I give you my best rendition. Flirting is letting you choose the bad movie, flouncy heroine with a bad accent: oh my! Villain villainous in handlebar and hat. You study sex scenes, hand frozen mid-gesture. Shush me when I interrupt.
The Map of Erasures
I point to where I'm from and you X it out. The map of erasures pins itself to your fridge. Keys bury themselves under your truck. Nothing here belongs to me, not the rinsed dishes or the boots I'm wearing. The photographs on the wall cock and aim. We give each other new names, Let-go and Unlocked. You climb on top of me and say my name like it means something else. You call the dog Mine to remind me not to get attached.
's first book, Body Language
, 2006), won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. She is the author of two forthcoming collections of prose and poetry, With Animal
(Black Lawrence Press
, 2015) and The Reckless Remainder
, 2016), both co-written with Carol Guess. She teaches creative writing at Western Washington University.