Danielle Pafunda

from the manuscript The Book of Scab

Dear Mom and Dad,

Here I am, sweeping up from the latest suicide party, spilled pills, jack-knifed shotguns, photos smashed from their frames. At your wedding, the priest bit the rabbi and the rabbi bit the priest, and everyone got rabid on that foaming bowl of punch. Then I was born, bruised and fat from the squalid pigeon hole Mom calls a body, and she turned me in to the cops, three days old, for homicide attempts. Here you are now, trying to take it all back.

No wonder I’m so insanely boring, no wonder I’m such a nonstop whiner. I say everything twice, I have only myself for reference.

Only. I eat the entire baggie of mushrooms and when my soon-to-be-dead friend ditches me for a better party, I hop on the back of the nearest monkey boy. I hop on his alien back, his otherworldly horse back, his loping back copper stunk and studded with bones, I ride him smoothly into a glade and read an article about the occult practices of high-stakes day traders while the boy goes down on me. In the glade, it’s like every movie I’ve ever seen lush, like a stupid planet full of languageless bear children. I have a stable feeling. I have the feeling that everything I do is sound and that I’ll be a-okay and then the feeling starts to fade and I can’t do anything about it. Do you know how stark that is? I can’t do a thing to feel. Then my body trundles along, oh, hobble off and take a pee,

Your Ugly Little,

Danielle Pafunda's books include Manhater (Dusie Press Books), Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies (Noemi Press), My Zorba (Bloof Books), and the forthcoming Natural History Rape Museum (Bloof Books 2013). She teaches at the University of Wyoming.

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