12 Ways of Looking at the Being that Lives Inside My Daughter
In the mornings,
she just stares
at her cereal.
She doesn’t breathe
like she used to.
It inhales for her,
like a pump.
I kissed her forehead
and felt it move
under her skin.
She asked me,
“Papa, what is this?”
and held up
her most treasured possession:
a photo of us
laughing at the beach.
Her voice sounds
like your voices sounds
when you hear
a recording of yourself.
I told her.
“At the beach.
Don’t you remember?”
“What is the beach?” she asked.
I hugged her,
and she just stood there
In my embrace, it felt suddenly like
she had too many arms,
but when I stumbled back,
it was just her,
same as always,
but dead behind the eyes.
When her skin started peeling
and sloughing off,
exposing the blue-black membrane underneath,
I hid in the bathroom,
hands clamped over my ears,
trying to muffle her agonized wails.
I peek out
into the hall.
A translucent film has formed
over her bedroom door,
gluing it shut, and,
though I spent the night
wracking my memory,
I cannot for the life of me recall
what we found so funny
that day at the beach.
We’re Dealing with a Lot Right Now
We are all saddened to hear, in the very near future,
via the global neural news feed,
beamed garishly over building facades
and against the backs of our eyelids,
that Ben Affleck has turned into a pillar of salt.
This is perplexing, say the biblical scholars,
without looking up from their yellowing, expired e-readers.
To where must he have been fleeing,
and from what divine immolation?
Brentwood is fine.
This is intriguing, say the scientists,
distorted behind their stained beakers.
Thermodynamically it tracks,
but catalytically, it is quite troubling.
This makes perfect sense, say the gossip writers.
Did you see him ogle J-Lo’s daughter?
“But that’s not even how the story—” the bible scholars reply,
“Oh… never mind.”
Me? I have nothing to say.
The rest of them, enticed by the mystery,
pulled like screaming virgins to the volcano of an explanation,
have lost sight of the salt.
Of the gleaming, six-foot, four-inch tower of you.
Of your simple, essential objecthood.
And I am overcome; overwhelmed
by this singular, driving desire,
this impossible urge
to lick you,
top to bottom,
inch by inch,
with an endless tongue
and oceans of saliva,
like God licked the world.
Josh Logue is a writer based out of New York. His work has previously appeared in Kugelmass and Aphelion.