Polite Society


Acetic acid, a priest without a proper wardrobe. You seem to appear out of nowhere, a voice that carries when she leaves well enough alone, caressing my name hard and soft, a ballad somewhere in the chromatic stage.

My earliest memory is of you with the children, pulling a makeshift sled past the brick and mortar of her latest pet project in the dead of the worst winter in Northwest history. You smell of steel-cut oatmeal, and ashes. A few short months later, I crept out in the night of my embankment, the haunting epithet of my late father hanging over me.

No one wants you.

You never said a word, save for secondhand hearsay on her behalf, the Christ to my Judas — blaspheming my name.

She is to blame for all of this.

She has no grace.

But my love, I did not stray.

“Are you coming to the next show?”

It is last summer, and we are two strangers coming together in the aftermath of her execution.

I sit above the din of the bar downstairs, waiting for him to see me. Because he asked.

He doesn’t stay, he barely touches me. We talk about things that don’t matter, my blackened salmon, where’s the toilet, when I long for more. Simply more from the shadow of her backward glances, pointed stares in her missile range, her hands and mouth still sharp with self-recrimination.

Such the dutiful soldier executing orders.

How can you stand there so polite, so quiet, when you fucked me from behind, gave me ivy, shaking with terror and naked need?

This is where I leave.


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