a lesson in my shortcomings.


how the rain sings,

Moistening the skin of the earthed

Who needs it

That was the way the tears poured from her. She leaned into the floor and cried. I rested on her backside and she muscled a voice to say, “Please, don’t touch me.” 

As I drew back my hands, Mickie lifted her face from the ground. “I just needed to cry in front of someone. I needed someone to see me like this so badly.” She let all the water of her body spill, and I haven’t spent a day away from the thought since- mad about the way I turned out. 

It’s hard to imagine the kind of cruel you can become in a heated earth, but summer has its way with the weak willed. Since a putrid truth is only muffled in the wool-wear air, I shouldn’t have been comfortable enough in it not to recognize the smell of the rot as the heat of the earth was returning. Now, my girl is bent; waiting on me to be good again and mean for her to bear my unborn because we are ready for it and not using our child to muffle sin. I know Mickie wants me; but wants me sweeter, more green, and warm. This way I can’t hide my skeleton under the cold front. 

Mickie being away distracted me more than it made me feel free. I was in the home without presence or structure, how I am usually nestled in her. She spent the summer that it started in Havana where there is a lot of attraction in the people, and I had planned to visit for more time than I did. She was home by September but was still spending some weekends gone during the winter. 

“You know,” said Mickie one night as we wrapped up in a sheet together shortly after she came home, “you should pay more attention to the moon. I bet there’s something it could teach you.”

“Like what?” I asked.

“The body, for sure. Charting it taught me how to smell whatever’s on you.”

“Mickie Cryptic,” I said to allude my confusion. She laughed. 

“I mean that my bodily cycle swells with it. Whenever the moon is full, we are less opaque; and I am literally bleeding.”

“You’re riiiight,” I said in comprehension. “We never do fuck under full moonlight.”

Mickie tucked her bottom lip behind her teeth, wanting to say more, but at this point, there would be no proof of it. I nestled myself in the funny feeling of her bones hoping that this comfort would relieve us both. I wondered if she’d felt my heart double in its beat as we pretzeled ourselves into sleep. 

That  same night I dreamt about how spending time at her house during the summers, my granny used to tell us to, “close my front door. Y’all letting flies in this mu’fucka.” It should have taught me something of sanctuary.

Mick and I took the next few months easy.

The morning she spilled into the floor, there was a look in Mickie Cryptic that was as quiet as trying to recall something. The only thing her body said as Mickie brushed passed me was, “how can a boy so wicked make his touch feel so easy?” I caught my guilt in every glance Mickie gave me that morning but was unsure which phase the flushed look in her cheeks was signaling- whether her body was preparing itself for period, or pregnancy.

“Mickie Cryptic, g’morni-.”

“Call me my name, please,” she cut me off to show her melancholy. 

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“You tell me.” 

“Mickie Vivianni, what’s the matter with you?” I asked again. Her eyes turned in on me and I can remember the smoothness of her anger.

“You were my favorite thing on earth,” Mickie said in shame. She handed me a postcard addressed with my name: 

Kody Lapenze

14247 Addison Avenue

Culver City, California 90230

The backside of the card was laminated with an ultrasound on it:

Merlot, Gina MO 02/28/1991

Baby Girl Merlot 05/12/2019 8:16:10 AM

19 Weeks

It was My attorney. pregnant… with my baby. 

“I thought I was home,” Mickie leaned into the floor and cried through clenched teeth, the rest of her body weakening. 

I spend an hour with the dawn of every dark morning writing my forgivings on the postcards Mickie and I used to collect on our trips. It is plainly symbolic to remind myself that man cannot find himself in secrets.