The Year of My Birth


August, 1964

I. Palm Beach, a fake emerald bracelet scratching your


You crawl to the bed, the industrial carpet rubbing its

cigarette stink all over you. You remember the man’s

hands, the scars and words scrawled across them.

A wilted yellow carnation on the nightstand. Your

ruffled dress with pink and black diamonds sprawled

across a chair. A ceiling full of tiny stabbed-in holes.

The damp circle your body makes on the sheets dissipates.

Eventually, you stop shivering.

II. He left you an unreadable note on the pillow – it starts

with a word like “Darling” or “Baby”.

The hotel pool, never heated. From your sticky plastic

chair of the morning, you watch a barefoot man fish out

the drowned mice with a sieve on a stick.

The sky the color of still water over stones; the sun grabs

the back of your neck. You wish you had a hat.

You come to in a cool red tub, all the towels hung like rags

above you, crooked and damp.

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