What the Mailman Won’t Deliver

I’m not sure. That is to say I’m unsure about the lighting. It really brings out that milk mustache from six years ago and your skin looks like hot tar at noon in August. I can’t touch you like that. My skin will flake off and there won’t be anything left for you to steal from me. I know what you do at night. I know the way you peel back the layers, try to get into my insides. Try to steal what you know isn’t yours to take. But I let you do it. There’s something about your fingernails that makes my flesh jump into your hands. There’s something about the way you blink that makes me play dead while you massage the life out of me. There’s nothing I can’t fake and there’s nothing you won’t store in your trapper keeper. I found it last night. I won’t tell you but you’ll know I know. You won’t stop and I won’t either. I wish there was a way to place a double-sided mirror on our ceiling. I want to know what’s behind you, behind me, on the other side. I want to place a video camera there and watch what you do to me. I want to breathe on the glass and write your name on the inside. You’ll never see it, but I’ll know. Maybe it’s because of how you used to peel dried Elmer’s off your palm, maybe it’s because I taste like glue, maybe it’s because you want to bring me to show and tell twenty years ago. I’m not sure. That is to say I’m unsure about your freckles and how they jump off your skin at night. If I could trap them in a jar I would keep them like fireflies until they slept heavy on the bottom. I would cut your hair and knit a scarf. I know what you have in that binder. I know why I find it hard to inhale. I know why I have no voice to speak to you. But I let you. I’m sure of that. As sure as I am that you look good in any light, even if it means I’ve melted into the wall. Even if it means there’s no more of it, of us, or the freckles. I can’t live in your mailbox. I can’t sleep in your envelope. I can’t die in your sock drawer. But I will.

Alexis Pope is a writer of poetry and tiny fictions. She resides in Akron, which has recently been named “The Meth Capital of Ohio.” She doesn’t use meth, only massive quantities of caffeine. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in PANK, Metazen, Breadcrumb Scabs,Rubbertop Review, and elsewhere.