he comes on their fifteenth anniversary says look I have done calculations you have since our wedding consumed one large deep wide lake of beer a rushing tributary of wine all of it now cold urine flowing down noxiously poisoning the ocean and its exotic life.
I know this is true she says but I was compelled at all times by an urge to fill myself against the fluttering emptiness which afflicts me like the stirring of a large blue fowl in my gut.
in addition he says you have smoked an entire arid volcanic outcrop a small Galapagos running with strange lizards of cigarettes whose smoke even now blackens and clangs at the brass troposphere.
she says I know this also and again the urge to be filled to my farthest extremities was the cause of all that incontinent sucking.
I have made for you he says an island a floating land a Sargasso of paper smoked tobacco ash filter wadding it floats on a lake of cold alcohol-rich urine nothing will live on this island not even the strange lizards nothing will grow in this lake you will drift there always alone with ashen winds.
she stands with her hands above her eyes like the peak of a cap that shields her from the sun but there is no sun as he pushes off the little leather boat and sculls away from the island. she feels her skin harden her face stretch falls to all fours her brain shrinking back reptilian runs to the lake's edge watches him receding her tongue flicks tasting the air a hiss between her teeth.
the wind comes. the rain is cool on her skin. she lives. she lives.
(Published in Chimaera, May 2008)