Sara presses the gun between her legs until the metal is warm, until she can’t tell the difference between it and her except that she is yielding and it is unyielding. She buttons down her blouse, reaches behind the fabric and takes hold of her nipple.

She begins to think of pretty things. The sound of rusty nails rolling around in a shoebox. The reflection of a watch face dancing on the wall. A chain link fence bending when you throw yourself against it. Pretty metal things. She tells herself she’s a molten river and holds onto the image until she

...wakes up to the sound of a trilling bird just outside the window. Justin is standing at the foot of the bed, his back to her. He is staring at himself in the bureau mirror.

“What are you doing?” she moans from the blankets, her voice hoarse and caramel-coated like some dying sea animal washed ashore.

“This goddamn tie. They want me to wear one today.”

“They called? I didn’t hear them call.”

“You answered it.” He looks at her through the mirror. She doesn’t want him looking at her face so she pulls up the blankets just shy of where her thighs end and her hips begin. He fiddles with the tie, a hangman without a tree, watching the shadows play in the space between her legs.


“Isn’t it over-under-around-and-through or something like that?”

“For the tie?’

“Yes for the tie. Do you like it when I do this?”

She lifts her hips an inch or two off the mattress. The blanket falls back some. He can almost make out her labia, skin darker than the surrounding slopes. Pubic hair like madcap twists of lemmings falling, falling.


She pulls her legs wide apart, so wide he thinks she’s trying to imitate a swiss army knife. She pops her joints. He wads the tie into a ball, tosses it across the room.

“What time do you have to be in?”


“What time is it now?”


“What’s for breakfast?”

He turns to face her, tells her to roll over. She rolls over, blanket covering the small of her back. He studies the contours of her butt cheeks, feeling the angle of fitting into her. Feeling how she can arc her whole body into a pivot for him. A fulcrum full of him. He feels himself moving towards her. He follows himself towards her.

“I had a dream about a gun just now,” she says into the pillow. “It was between my legs. I felt like I could turn it into flesh and turn myself into metal if only I could feel both of us… enou… enough.”

He buries his face into her hair, his front conforming to her back. He squeezes himself into her, says

“Feel it hard enough or soft enough? Feel it how?”

“I want to feel myself turn into you. I want to be you.”

“You can’t,” he says into her ear, pressing her into the mattress, pinning her down and feeling her resist with an inviting curve of her spine. Deep. He wants to split her, to graft himself into her.

“You can’t be me.”

“Why not?”

“I won’t let you.”

“Let me.”


“Let me.”

Their words are choked out, like someone angry, like an argument. But this struggle is different, but going after something different.

She strains against him, stretching. I want to be you, saying. I want to be you, and she feels him like a needle grounding into her. A storm. She twists, feels his tightness, concentrates it with her softness. Be me with me.

“I can feel you,” he says.


They move together. Closer. He breathes heavy into her ear, feels the sheets against her breasts, her knees, her ribs. She wants to feel him feel her, wants to unravel the skin that keeps them apart. She wants him so deep inside her that he falls through her skin and then she’ll be penetrating him. She clinches his him with her her, feels him become white and electric and begin to rupture apart inside her. She takes him. He drowns just below her surface.

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