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And These, My Least Best Selves

"thorns and flowers and hummingbird"

art by Jen Rouse

And These, My Least Best Selves

by Jen Rouse

Self #1

First each leaf shredded from the philodendron vine, followed by a ritual gutting of the stuffed puppets.

What do you want to talk about today?

So many, so many mouthfuls of sand. Gritted teeth and decomposing jaw, I crawl the pale green walls like something damned.

Sit with your feelings.

Nails rake the leather from each couch cushion. Out of the corner of this post-historic eye, the glimmer of a small glass cat in a sand tray. Mine, I hiss, meeeeeee.

Please, let me help you.

And from my chest I wrench it free, this bludgeoned and silent heart, placing it gently, so gently

at her feet.

Self #2

And you said your prayers and played pretty things. Good girl, Alice. But you cry into your pillow nonetheless, flooding the room with the giant cups, spinning in thimbles and stars.

Mother, why have you left me here? Where they rip at my clothes and tear at my skin? I feel I will never be quite pretty again…

and Tom Petty dances in. You are Alice made of cake. A cold slice from your abdomen smeared on slick and demented smiles. Every greedy bastard standing above you with a piece. And you look down with your giant Alice head and think, Why, yes, it has come to this. A handful of lyrics and a shit-ton of weed. Never the straight teeth and starch they imagined for you, just the lunging guitars and phthalo blue. Devouring, this man in the shiny top hat. And so you say, as your body slips away, under tooth and under tongue, Here’s hoping the frosting is fine, you sad fucks. ♥Alice