by Marie Little

Friday lived down the hall; he was going to save me. He knew how to change light bulbs and catch mice and what to say to Unwanteds at the main door. Often, I heard cussing and sometimes creaking. Rhythmical, seasick creaking that had me at once lulled, turned on and desperate. From my room to his was far enough that just music travelled, but I passed by many times to the laundry room, toilet, and the Dead Kitchen, when the slow fire door swing let a woman pass in his direction. When I thought he had a man to visit I had night-writhed more than usual, in pleasure and in the pain of heavily dreamed sleep. I had run a finger along the lowest cupboard shelf in the Dead Kitchen and licked off the dust. Everything was a new sensation that night – the taste of smoked paprika, the cold floor as I sank to it, lost in tangled thoughts, making my own rhythm, breathing shallow against the need to be loud and declaratory. The guilt of the finish, heat in my cheeks, soft skin at the top of my thighs. After, I ran my finger along the top shelf making a new channel through the dust and thought about SOCOs and DNA, and tasted opportunity.