Marianne Collects Fish
When her goldfish die, Marianne lines their bodies up on her windowsill. As a vegetarian, Marianne sees death in a lot of places and doesn’t know why her windowsill shouldn’t be one of them. Decomposition comes as a gathering of flies. She cannot escape the buzzing. Sometimes they circle her as though she might die too. All she wanted was their fragile translucent bones. A notion of death as the perfect preservation of marrow. A biologist friend tells her that bones are living like anything else. A broken arm can become whole again. A friend working in retail tells her that every time a fly lands on something, it vomits. The fish go from orange to grey to unidentifiable bits of matter. Marianne buys some placards and sets up a display. “Fly vomit,” the labels read.
Marianne Grows Claws
Marianne stops biting her nails and her fingers turn into claws. She has always been scared of birds. At least I can claw a man’s eyes out, she says. She has had many opportunities to claw out the eyes of men, but she has never taken one. She wants to claw out the right eyes of the right man. She doesn’t want to waste this opportunity on just anyone. There are some things a girl only has one of.
Marianne Grows a Baby
Marianne grows a baby in her womb. She does not know where her womb is. She does not know where her liver or kidneys or appendix are either except that they are all inside of her. She can make a list of the things inside of her without having held any of it. While buying some bananas and a jar of peanut butter she slips a box of pregnancy tests between the two like the cashier won’t notice. I love my pregnancy tests smothered in peanut butter, she says. We are mostly contained aside from our excrements. She can swallow water and it can come out as a part of her. We can be a lake if we want. We can grow our own algae and have fish swim around inside of us though in pieces, though stripped of their gills. She pees on some sticks and lets out a noise like a goat or a sloth or an eagle when it says NOT PREGNANT. She forgets how to read and takes the test again and again. NOT PREGNANT NOT PREGNANT NOT PREGNANT.
Marianne Claws out a Man’s Eyes
Finally Marianne meets a man whose eyes she would like to remove. She has been waiting for this opportunity for exactly 65 days 14 hours and 11 minutes. Her talons have grown so long as to be ineffectual for almost everything aside from clawing out eyes. She pushes at her pimples with her fingertips and manages only to cause nail imprints in the skin. Lines in an attempt of removal. The man whose eyes she would like to remove does not notice her swollen pores or perhaps it is dark in the bar. She would like to take the eyes out of his face and put them in her drink like olives. He asks her what she is drinking and she says a martini. When he asks her about her hobbies she says, bird watching. She thrums her fingernails on the bar. She waits until the end of the night to do it. When she has finished, he asks if she would like to come home with him and if she can drive because he thinks he might have had too much to drink.
Tasha Coryell is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama. She’s recently had work at PANK, The Collagist, and Sundog Lit. More work from Tasha can be found at tashacoryell.com. You can also find her tweeting under @tashaaaaaaa.