• Maddie Langan

Let Me Walk You Through It

I -

  1. am going to put this in terms you will understand - so listen: the

  2. space between one body and another body is a body in itself. If I run fifteen paces into it, and you stay—you stay right there—why do I end up fifty paces away? Crashing, anyway, into that Italian restaurant we went to, that one time after the movies. Can’t remember which one. That was you, I think. Someone. I don’t know. He was tall. Laughed when I spilled olive oil on my skirt. Pants, maybe. I’m certain about the olive oil. Swear. Something else. That shitty French new wave film I pretended to like for you. Your fingerprints on the glass coffee table. Yours, I think. Could be anyone’s. Probably yours. Not sure, don’t know. The table is glass. It’s my mother’s. That German chocolate you like. The only kind you’ll eat. Maybe that was . . . no. Certain it was you. The body between us expands at a constant rate. Is that you past it? Would call it ours, but it’s not. It hates me. Bubbles, burrows, spits me out. Don’t look at it. Just hole up here. Hole up here.

  3. don’t know how to tell you that I forgot the color of your eyes, too. Spending all this time,

  4. eating, breathing, sleeping. Swear to God I’ve worn all my shirts with you, a thousand times over. The pink one, with little white flowers and bishop sleeves, that I wore on our first date. I think I was wearing it when you ended it, too. Think, probably. Could’ve been the yellow sweater, with the brown buttons. Dizzy. I’m dizzy. Just remember the feeling of doom, sitting in my belly. Making a home there, folding it around, flesh bending onto itself, seeping out of my throat. It’s the same. Always the same. Can’t forget it.

  5. choking. I’m choking. Choking on my words. Was it you who liked that hyperpop song? One of you is allergic to nuts. And someone once poured bleach on a new shirt they’d gotten, just taken home. An accident. Close my eyes and point. You? You, it’s you. Don’t tell me it’s not.

  6. feel the same. It’s always the same. And I breathe anyway.



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Illustration by Avery Slezak