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Three Ways (and Sixteen Personalities)

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. 

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,

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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