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Three Ways (and Sixteen Personalities) 1. He wants you too, she tells me when he goes to the bathroom. 4 a.m. on my dastardly couch, we hear him pissing and do not giggle. A drunken epic, his piss applauds itself in the shallow toilet. We count 22 seconds and two encores. In the television blue of the living room, I answer her: No, he doesn't. 2. In bed, the sheet tidy across us: boy facing the dark/boy facing the girl/girl. I pretend to sleep passed out on my left shoulder, prayer folded under my left cheek, my mind on blackouts, knives, how Sybil drew them and light bulbs, cut glass. To be a famous split personality, to be so exceptionally broken! I think of the tv movie- how my mother and I loved the flashbacks- while the sheet across us like a trap goes taut. I imagine his free hand, hiding itself, all curl and hook. The darkness across us slack, his shoulders blade and blade against mine. (Taut slack taut.) His mouth a blindspot, hers a distant noise. Dishtowel over her eyes, Sybil took buttonhooks. Endured disinfectant. Suffered locked nights in the wheat bin. In the green kitchen, 3. on her back on the table, her ankles tied wide, the naked light interrogating her, the tap water rushed until her bladder was full and her mother sauntered from tap to upright to play the New World Symphony: A sharp. And C. And F. And F. And D. In Willow Corners, Wisconsin, worse things happened than a three-hour mumble of pleasure in one's own bed, I tell myself tonight as they fuck. Sybil's mother says hold your water 'til the very last note.
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