It’s there, in my stomach, and it stirs up; a wicked batter.  All nettles and ache.  My mom’s wooden spoon, weaponized, upside my brother’s heathen head.  I wield it.  I stick it in the mix and stir.  A bloody mess as it blends.  I taste it and wince.  Too much despair.  My hand heavy on the pour.

I open my mouth bucket-wide.  I shovel it in.


Start again.


You take her hand and twirl her.  Her dress spins out and back wrapping a frame like I’ll never have; so ladylike.  Do you like that?  Her black tights?  Untouching thighs?  A flower next to you and I am


You, once a flower next to me and now



What is leaving?

What is left?


I followed my older brother down the side of a cliff to a beach but got stuck.  He kept going.  He reached the sand.  The hang gliders saw me and pointed.  A team of rescuers came—linked arms and rope—and saved me.

My dad beat me when I got home,





That’s what I’m getting.

What I’ve got.


When my mountain goat brother went gone I held the earth wall, frozen.

There was a path until there wasn’t.

I thought it would be easy until it wasn’t.

I just wanted to reach the beach; hot sand and salt froth.  A promised land.

You are the beach, will always be the beach, and I am still stuck on the cliff wall

the rescuer’s hand outstretched, screaming for me to just reach up

pleading for me

to just take it.



xTx is a writer living in Southern California. Her work has been published in places like The Collagist, PANK, Hobart, The Rumpus, The Chicago Review, Smokelong Quarterly and Wigleaf. You can find links to her story collections; "Normally Special," and "Today I Am A Book" on her website, www.notimetosayit.

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