I’m rolling you like coin rollers. Your eyes are the hardest part to fold. We take turns estimating your value or what can be banked or what Madoff can steal. I like you best at night when your body moves against the glow of the refrigerator and your tightly curled hair begins to open like a robotic hand from its steel roots. Everything we listen to is insides until the neighbours fill our mouths with floor punches and broom handles. You’re tired now and you say hush, baby, you always need to be fed. You swaddle everything that’s small enough.
There is an inch of water listening between our thighs. Two boys are having an argument about a French kiss. I can see your working gills in the gasps of my arms. We are working so hard at growing old. When you get upset you kick my lunchbox three seats up until it becomes the only thing that everyone is staring at. I’m sorry for the tide my hands create. And the way I push back. And all the kids I’ve swallowed.
I put my teeth to the floor. I take your hands and put them on my mouth so you can feel the room resonate. There aren’t many people in here tonight. When they start to play I run for cover. Everything they sing exposes me. For my own safety I twist-tie my gut to a double kick. I want to drive home drunk and alone.
Amanda Deo is the author of North of the Mason-Dixon Line (In/Words, 2005) and You Sang It Back to Me, which is now available from Mad Rush Books. She is an audiophile. She lives in Toronto.