the chatter of men and women

by | January 11, 2020

and fish in the room calling out her name over and over again
was unbearable a courthouse
of carp all slippery down the
chamber sliding against the
defendant as he spoke we could hear ever more loudly the noise
of a gavel gulping
for air or maybe someone in
her statement softly crying?
he asked her something kept saying something it was
something sour whether she
had been repeating herself? did
she take the tongue too
literally, let it wash her
mouth out? could she
remember the
open moon? the sound a bald
egg made when it fell out of
its nest? whether the
dogs howled or made white
noise? his short sharp trim
tickled her nose crisp hairs like
scales rubbed her skin pink on the stands
he thought: a woman is
a moment of softness that is
the fish glubbering their flatfish eyes
round and hollow
she thought: this man is
scooping water
into black wool I am inside you
and mourning.∎

Words by Natalie Perman. Art by Eloïse Fabre.