Franklin Is In by Iris N. Schwartz
March 27, 2018
is Machine ill by Andrew Davie
March 29, 2018





Last night, I watched you while you slept, &, just as that day in the park, you were both first dressed in red, & then in each other’s skin, somehow matching perfectly & not at all.

No, wait. I can explain. I promise I can explain. But first know that this is not what it sounds like. Know that I’ve spent all week making sure I wouldn’t look like myself today, but forgive me if I do. Please, forgive me if I do.

So, here it goes: each night, when I close my eyes, you are there, both & one, on top & against, sweat & blood & cum, tears without mascara. I watch you & rest my hand on my crotch, but don’t stroke anything.

It’s been like this since July. You were shorter back then & a little rougher, quieter. Or you might’ve been the same. Well, I could have mistaken you for someone else, too. In fact, I’m starting to think I might have made you up all along. No, sorry. That’s not what I meant to say. You were there, yes, & now you are here, always punctually, always with flesh piled upon flesh piled upon the boldest of seasonings.

You are always here so I am not, you know. I make you crawl underneath my eyelids when the lights are out so that my tongue can’t squeeze herself in. Let me tell you, you have no idea what she’s capable of. Before you came into my life, every single night she soaked everything in her desperation, &, to this day, I still haven’t managed to clean the stains. I can show them to you tonight – there’s one that looks exactly like a forest fire, woods & everything. That is, if you are up for it, of course.

There you have it. You can respond to this at any hour, under any circumstances, through screaming, angry dancing, or throwing (reasonably small) things at my window, but I will also understand if I never hear from you again. I know I have let you down, but if you could give me one more chance to look at your faces & touch your robes from afar, I swear I could do better. I know that I could.

Clara Paiva is a writer and musician from São Paulo, Brazil. Her work has appeared in Occulum and is forthcoming in Moonchild Magazine.