Prime Number Magazine
is a publication of 
Press 53
PO Box 30314,
Winston-Salem NC 27130
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Issue 3, October-December  2010
Prime Number Magazine is a publication of Press 53, PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130
By Nina Feng

My face has developed kind lines, ones that cradle my eyes, stitch my mouth to my cheeks. I lie in the dark, run fingers along these lines that tie together body, entwined in places where the skin has worn blood beating blood beating thin, braided trails of ancient ruptures. Hard, I press my palm against the scar on my neck.                                                     

Folding his hands around her small hips, he watches sharp bones emerging between thumb and forefinger. He imagines cracking her open—tense belly erupting in a jagged rift. Billowing silk rising. He rests his cheek in the shallow curve of her body.

I get out of bed. Trace rings of smudged light with my stare. Strings of glistening white snake through the black road outside; I cannot stop following each line to its end, pulling it in with my eyes, down my throat, piling wet rope. My eyes are also kind, kind to carry the bruised weight that clings underneath, kind to let me see into their murky choking choking choking world. Slow, I blink.            

He gazes as she falls back asleep, her tensely coiled body pushing out knots of backbone.  Placing his fingers in between the fragmented arc of the rounded islands on her back, he feels them spread and tighten with her breathing. He wonders if she didn’t exhale—flesh swelling taut, vertebrae slipping apart, rough little mouths ascending until they pierced—she would pour into his arms. He curls around her body, spine like tiny fists against his chest.  

Blow him a kiss with open hands. I watch him leave, feel the places warm where he touched me last. He is the only one who knows this body like I do. Must know how kind it is. Harsh morning light spills.  Scalds away the creases, the lines, the wrinkles of my body. Unfastened skin. I look for leftover breakfast; can still feel the fullness of food in my mouth, food scattered all around, food I begin to devour. I barely chew, swallowing whole to engorge my throat, needing the bulk in my belly. Keep eating until it is all gone.  I want to be solid filled. Then I can feel every inch, every part of me spewing spewing spewing anchored. Fast, I cover my mouth.

He comes back with opened arms. Clasping them around her, she leans against him. He whispers to her, how he imagines her eyelashes dropping off delicately, tiny obsidian knives tracing ruby paths over her cheeks, gliding over her soft throat with a blushing wake, skating gently on the surface of her chest, green veins suspended languidly.  Circling and circling, brilliant black flashes slicing deeper, until, finally, she is exposed.

A glimmer of pulsing red encased in pale peach ice. He would see the movement of her heart.  He presses both his hands against her breast, waits for a beat. Almost everything sounds like a low hum.  He speaks to me sometimes and I only see his lips move. I want to hear his voice, clear and warm, flow into my ears.  It is a strange quieted hope, as if I dwelled underwater, looking up at the surface with my hand outstretched, fingertips barely brushing the underbelly of the fluid creature that encapsulates me. The voices I do hear are always screaming. All I can hear now are screams, screams pumping in until my ears seem to be cupping pure pulp, feel like they are bleeding bleeding…bleeding.

My hair is damp. I touch my neck. I look at my fingers, crimson wet. Adorning my earlobes, beaded red drops. Soft, I smile at this unkindness.

Nina Feng is a writer living in New Orleans, finishing her first book.