jo szewczyk (story)
Elizabeth nicodemus (artwork)


I questioned life; she questioned faith



To feel a touch.  To need another touch, a caress. A marble. All she had was the fucking marble and that was all that was between them. A piece of solid earth stronger than any circle. A ring isn’t a sphere just, it’s a circle with more into it; but the more’s a finger and oh what a finger can do. There was nothing to beg, but she did steal it or he did for her? Either way, she was ritually abused by the one next to her.

A mercy, a kiss. That’s all it was, but, no, it wasn’t. It was a kiss, a lick, a finger, a twitch; wet, wet pouring drenched wet through herself in and all around herself to be at sea in that water to have a guidance that was strong but pushing her in her to feel that warmth coming to be part of me something filled something there and not there but not intrusive not poking its head out screaming but pushing inside being enveloped and squeezed and hugged a deep hug something that went down it can never be the same.  She can’t lay back; she can’t lay down. Open and shut case.  Just lay.


A dream of sex that might be. She isn’t a virgin not since that time and the time before but she did not have sex before not even her sex that she was born with even that was regimented; taken, make sterile and plastic. They neutered anything she had inside of her.  


She, the prisoner of servitude to her shit covered husband; her shit covered life; her Christ with shit running down his legs, mingling with the blood as it ran down. A soldier fucked his gash.


He knows her place, but not her secret place—not the sludge—that she hides in and all of her, the icky with the sticky, everything that goes in her with her, in him and mixes permeates with her must depart. The sludge washes it away. That look though is with her and will be with her; that look of heart break and ache of her reflected in him.  The one she left behind.          

She was so cold but not her skin; something else cold in her dead dying and dead is where everything stops but even then he’d see her and call her name and she’d have to come that the Bishop made clear only one name; one time; one life; one eternity. Then again, maybe it’s all shit.  Everything, shit. Church, shit. Mormon, shit. Eat, shit. Shit, shit. Just something to strangle and poison what life could bring; just something to keep people in check.