Mayhem Literary Journal is generously sponsored for 2019 by Te Whare Wananga o Waikato, The University of Waikato

Nightmare - Kirsty Lagarto

He comes for
the weekly gutting.

He will cup your
face; a white egg,
bend your neck
Like a wave
until it snaps in two.

You are a ripe apple,
bitter skinned.
You burst inside his fist.

He is a gaping bowl.

Your lips: untranslatable
sewed shut 
to stifle your scream.
Your tongue is silver ink,
his throat, smooth paper.

You crack yourself.
Let the yolk of
your chest spill.

Words are so simple
and stale in your mouth.
You’re messy
in his fingers,
and he cuts out your tongue.
A glossy plate
ripped free.

He’ll say your jaw
is a splendid bridge
as he climbs your bones
while the moon blinks.

He knows no language
but the taste of
your blistered skin.

Inherent Star - Kristy Lagarto

I was never taught
how to contort
the opening of myself
I know how to paint
myself an empty vessel
before the first
crawl of skin
I am an inherent star
my limbs splayed
like living points.

I was born only
to be filled
a spacious corridor
an incomplete puzzle
with edges that 
don’t connect.

I am a waiting meal
a glistening display
of meat and skin
I flip inside and out
and back again
my bones click
and snap when touched.

When I drink 
in a person
take them into my caves
I am a complete vision
a pulsating stitched 
creature rocking in 
the lulls of breath.

There are bowls that
a body builds
echoing cups
isn’t every fill
a privilege?
A silky flavour?

To choke the begging,
warm shelter
to quench the drought
of the body
to be complete, 
an organised mess
of skin and bone and hearts
crushed whole.

Coloured Dirty - Kirsty Lagarto

Truth...
Daddy bent it more than he should have. 
Over backwards. 
Forwards. 
Twisted at angles. 
Confused... 
Left her stained and 
showed her filth was lovely. 

Taught her his love 
was like the new black; 
She just had to have it, 
as he kissed her lips 
and secretly erased 
the crease of her childhood. 
38 inches of violated property... 

A pretty product of drunken lust. 

Mummy was a closet freak. 
Blind 
to how much daddy cared 
and how much it hurt her.
A toothless pro, 
who never had a bite of reality. 
Only good for one night. 
A screwed up 
staggering 
get - in – here - free pass. 
So what could mummy teach? 
Her dirty philosophy?.. 
Daddy’s got it covered 

You're learning to dismantle 
the makings of the world. 
Bricks are red, the sky is blue. 
While she is learning 
to be dismantled. 
She sees red, she feels blue... 
Daddy poked colours with his fingers... 
but it’s okay to feel that way. 
(So he said) 
Red is only the beginning. 

Tongue dipped in scotch. 
Solid between the thighs. 
Wet on the lips... 
Lying in her bed 
on top of Cinderella’s face. 

He wants to fuck a rainbow.... 

Mummy blacked out again... 
And daddy likes them conscious... 

...young 

...squirming.

Alice - Kirsty Lagarto

Alice, could you tell me how that day started?

I went to school.
 
What happened before you went to school?

I wanted breakfast but there was no food in the house so I thought I’d make a hot chocolate but there was none of that either I got angry really angry at her there’s never any food there should be food because I get hungry I want to eat but there isn’t anything to eat.

And then what happened?

Then she walked in she stood there looking at me judging me I know she hates me never wanted me and I had hair in pigtails my daddy said he thought I was beautiful she said it was not appropriate I didn’t actually have my hair in pigtails I am sorry I lied to you I don’t know why I did that.

Why were you angry at her, Alice?

Because I was hungry and she never let me go to the fair that came in summer every single year it would come to town and Chloe would say the fair is here I liked Chloe very much so did all of the boys because she was extra pretty and always told them no the first year I asked her if I could go she said I should never trust something that could be built in a day and that even though I had been searching for my breath I thought I could catch it at the top of the super-loop I could not go I did not cry because that is not what ladies do at the time I didn’t even know what country ladies came from but when I was eight I wished I was American like Chloe because her mother let her ride the super-loop and didn’t even mind when she cried sometimes.

We’re getting off track. What did you do after you got angry?

Am I boring you oh I am so sorry I promise this story will make you smile you’ll laugh and laugh your face will split open right down the middle seeds will spill out and each one will grow into another smile but I’m getting ahead of myself a few days ago I found out that she is English so ladies must be from England where they never cry they always keep their knees together brush their hair and say yes ma’am and yes sir even when they want to use that word that Chloe taught me while we were waiting in lines for the swings it was a very naughty word I tried it on my tongue it tickled like when I giggle I liked the way it felt very much.

I won’t ask you again. What did you do after you got angry, Alice?

I wanted to end all of my problems so I ended all of my problems after that I felt a lot better.

How did you end your problems?

You know.

I would like you to tell me. Why do you think you had problems? As far as I can see you had a fine upbringing.

You don’t know anything I didn’t have a fine upbringing I got a new bike for my fourth birthday a purple bike with training wheels on it and ribbons hanging off the handle bars I didn’t like the training wheels I didn’t need them I was a big girl and I asked her if could be a fairy but she said no because fairies aren’t real but they are she just didn’t know that I dressed up in my fairy tutu anyway and played with my wand while she plaited my hair she pulled too hard and hurt me.

She was just trying to help you dress up for your birthday, Alice. What’s wrong with that?

She did it on purpose I hated her touching my hair but I wanted to be a dancer I wanted to put on the pretty shoes and stand on my toes I wanted to twirl and jump be able to do pretty pirouettes like the girls in my class at school I begged mum to let me join but she said no I was too fat to do ballet I got sad she always said no to me called me names kids at school called me names they were allowed cause they were nasty she was supposed to be nice she wasn’t she was mean.

I don’t think that its cause enough to do what you did though.

But one year a boy came to town and I couldn’t help but say “yes sir” because I had paid real close attention when she told me to never talk back a lady never says no I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to keep my knees together while I was saying yes but my legs were growing so I thought maybe that rule didn’t count anymore this boy picked me up one night and my parents loved him because he had freckles on his nose and she said that freckles were angel kisses and I could always tell she was ashamed that no angels wanted to kiss me. But one night he picked me up and took me to the fair you know the fair I was talking about we did not tell my parents because I told him, “Shhh, it’s a secret” and we did not say a word because she would have hurt me.

Would she? I don’t believe you, Alice.

You don’t have to when we got there I was very  empty so the boy it doesn’t really matter his name anymore even though I’ve got it written all over old notebooks some memories and names and places have grown out to the very tips of my hair and every six months or so I trim them off I promise I won’t forget the boy’s name he said to fill me up we would get candy floss and I thought this was lovely because I had never tasted candy floss before it looked like a pink clouds it melted in my mouth the sugar sat on my tongue it made me feel warm.

We need to focus on what actually happened.

No we don’t it never happened I didn’t do it I don’t know what you’re talking about let me tell you what I found out candy floss is what is wrong with the world no matter how much I would shove into my mouth with my fingers sticky pink it would never reach the back of my throat and it never filled me up people were walking up and down past the rides and the prizes they were talking about how they simply just adored the candy floss I wanted to scream at them tell them that it wasn’t something to praise it was sweet when it touched your lips but then it was gone I hated the way it left me knowing that I would never be able to fill myself up that just wasn’t okay I wanted to tell them that but ladies are empty they’re not filled with yelling words so I just followed the boy as he led me to the super-loop I was still very sad when we climbed in the seats.

What does this have to do with what happened, Alice?

Here this is the part you will smile at this is the joke we swung right to the top of the super-loop the very very top and stopped I was still just as empty  I still never caught my breath we went around and around I still didn’t feel a thing but when we stopped we hung upside down it came into my mind I wanted to dangle her from the tippy top of the super-loop and drop her on her head so she would bleed and bleed and never breathe again when we walked back to my house and he took a kiss from me I knew my lips tasted like candy floss I had spent all of my time waiting once I got what I wanted what I had always wanted it still wasn’t enough isn’t that just wild don’t you think that’s just a riot you should be laughing you should be laughing I don’t understand why aren’t you smiling  please smile oh I’ve ruined it again I’m so sorry I’m so sorry I’ll try better next time I promise I will I promise to make you smile next time I know I can do it here let me try again let me try again.

Just tell me what you did, Alice.

I killed her and I went to school.

Contributor's Note

Kristy is about to start her last semester of her BA in English, and has just been selected to be published in the next issue of Brief. She is surrounded by amazing writing types that always encourage her.

 

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