Night shade

by gm

Tara-Michelle Ziniuk


I meet your new lover on the death bridge, the bridge where people die. Not even the one in town people jump from, but the ones where cars come and bring death. Amidst the memorial flowers and traffic, we run into one another. She is eating a popsicle. It is unnecessary. I didn’t want to get to this, to know you now. She turns her back to me. My daughter does not comply.

At home I butcher pregnant peppers, Sheppard, so deep in their redness they’re almost brown. My daughter says they are the best peppers she’s ever tasted. I think that’s a bit much. I show her that the peppers are having babies, but she doesn’t understand the gore.

When we have the whole house to ourselves, you and I—the house we borrow—we force sleep away. We cover walls and counters with ourselves, each other. We try to keep ourselves standing, our knees from giving in; try to keep each other down, but we fail and flee. We find that we have too much planned, that our minds race too fast, that it’s work for our bodies to keep up. We can never make it to the bag we brought, the next plan. We are all limbs and sweat together, a single body, a nameless shape.