You were the petite, curvy girl with the studiously erratic crimson dye job, sporting a dress no artist could sketch on hurriedly enough, and I was standing next to you at the county morgue, circa 2004. You arrived via bus, independent of the rest of the class. I had never seen you, previous to this excursion, even though it was mid-semester. That morning’s twelve autopsies were part of a tour exclusive to the photography department of my technical college. You appeared to have come by the knowledge of our arrival through a means entirely of your own devising and I was the only person who suspected the baggy-eyed imposture slinking between antiseptics. Clearly, it was not your first postmortem jubilee. Clearly, you saw through the mask of my detection and I through the minor scandal of your each hastening inhalation as onsite photographs were deliberately spread across the table, the ledge of which happened to be cutting a jaded pattern of itself along your thighs, forcing you to back a cherubically pert rear twice into my waist, an illustration of your impossible to hide excitement for the content on display. Remember that almost flipbook series featuring the woman defenestrated through her car windshield? She landed, straddling the curb, the momentum of the crash propelling a lap-wide stripe tagged along the granite like an end to all toilets, her cotton panties masticated into one substance up the following gouge she would have to tap with a cane to coax pee from forever. Your lips were stuck in a part. It was like you were trying to steady a batch of rabies between your knees as the images intensified. The swelter lifting off you made even my sinuses obey, worn thick in a period I wanted loaves of. They set a Polaroid of someone I went to high school with between us, his face, recently visited by a gang, the papers said, was a stabbed-in mass beyond expression. I passed a stage of insane male bravado, erection no longer hid, encouraging us to bump. When your lungs invigorated, I assure you I had felt the cessation between them drum in ringlets down my base. The more your breathing was an irony of what propelled it, the more our marriage went from the puddle I’d kneel serving to the hygienic slipper covering that tattooed ankle. They began shining the cadavers against our partition, gumming through an assembly line, ages sixteen to seventy, with acetylene rigor. Your euphoria bested its own chill and devolved between fetish and religion. We entered a tantric silence. If our foreplay taught me endurance, the orgasm itself rattled us off guard with an ectoplasmic trait above the formerly relevant tubes squeezed here of their spirit. The bask arrived with the first incision, the scalp folded from its peel to touch the chin, the smile that allows us movement underneath, gills we can’t return from, applying their intestinal weight, tongue strung down to welling shit, the true vulva we attack by sharing limbs, the one we mock with meals before passing, the chance we excrete through a life. I snorted the diapers on fast forward from infancy to your expulsive death and the response was slobber. Our molecules were in stereo. Your chin tilted at a perpetual angle, mirroring the slab. A garden variety bolt cutter zigzagged ribcages, chomping a path toward the bouquets protected inside. They hung them cored and damply fluttering from a system of scales. A squat technician rested three long-needled toxicology syringes half-full with bladder piss in the thigh of an attractive female and bit his sandwich. A death erection with gravity against it took the blood sideways so the cock rendered in like an ancient piece of nerf. Your clitoris, always meanwhile, snaked behind my forehead. Then they carried us to the death museum. Rusted murder weapons vibrating their patents all over the air, cryptic suicide notes written in masturbation scrawl, a collection of batteries pried from schizophrenic bowels, finally the skin of a face, burnt off intact by electricity, frowning at whatever you leaned in to whisper, your daintily rounded tummy pushing flat upon the glass. This visage still practices your secret in its formaldehyde. Aware you probably never noticed me, I often return to the space where your lips met his, praying the sentence you uttered finds me worthy when I steal it back, because we are of a breed, darling, you and I, those of us who take sloppy aim with our every impression.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sean Kilpatrick, raised in Detroit, does monthly movie reviews for Hobart Literary Journal. Other writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Nerve, New York Tyrant, Boston Review, Fence, Sleepingfish, Fanzine, Vice, evergreen review, Whiskey Island, andBomb. His novella Sucker June, was released by Lazy Fascist Press. Check out his tumblr.