…first we find you:

dishwater, grayed overnight and thickened with leftover cottage cheese
stray hairs, threaded from your brush and rolled into black licorice braids

the sweat of your upper lip
dewed by sleep

milk, soured in the carton
a week before the expiration date

…the priest has left:

the m’s off every third m&m
the malt from every milky way

one hour off the bedroom clock
two seconds from your reflection

the bathroom light, flicker
flicker
flicker

flicker

…we unravel the quaint warding charm scrawled atop your door:

the man splayed across your bed

his face, his spleen

his cauliflowered ears braised in bile
his fingers knotted into pretzel twists
the cow–licked salt of his forehead

his screams

his tart, tart screams
…nothing else remains:

the fractal veins bleeding your eyes
the black vines cracking your teeth
the rasp of your nails peeling the walls in
long         wet         strips

your

final

honeyed

breath

image013MICHELLE MUENZLER, also known at local conventions as “The Cookie Lady,” writes fiction both dark and strange to counterbalance the sweetness of her baking. Her work has been published in magazines such as Star*Line, Crossed Genres, and Electric Velocipede, and she takes immense joy in crinkling words like foil puppets.

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