in our haunted house

Written by Emma Flynn
Art by Derek Lee

in our haunted house, i eat a sandwich for lunch.

you are watching me with vulture eyes and you lick your lips clean. we are not so different, i think, but you laugh at me all the same, even with the curve of your spine in my palm and the cold press of fingertips to mine. when did you get so cold?

i carve your initials into the kitchen cabinets and stare at them until i find you staring back at me; the lights flicker and i trace your outline. you are still shaped like someone i used to love.

i’m sleeping with the ghosts of past lovers. they reach out to touch me but i’ll never feel their touch. you say i lived for love, but for you i’d give it all up. every meaningless minute.

i died somewhere between the beginning and the end of the world. your hands are still stained with soil from where you buried me; i remember your bruised neck and the smell of liquor on your breath.

drown with me you say and pull me beneath the current. my lips turned blue before my chest began to ache; a faucet drips and takes me back to the dirt and the waves, my hair in your hands as you held me down.

we dance in the kitchen. you are basked in the stove light and there’s a knife between my ribs-you twist the handle just to hear me cry. you touch our sliced palms together; blood is thicker than your spit but both drip down my lips.

a house is not a home-your teeth are sharp, they cut my thighs they tear my clothes they eat me whole. love is a conditional act; you like me cold, you like me pale. to be held and to be strangled are both to be touched, you remind me why i need you as i dip back beneath the water.

i am the seed, i am the fruit. juice dribbles down your chin and i want to cry. there’s a you-shaped bruise on my wrist, i think the others are watching our pantomime as i eat the fruit from your hands.

i am not real; you twist me around the tiled floors and i want to kill you like you killed me. your blood tastes sweet in my mouth. it was always meant to be spilled. 

in our haunted house, i paint a picture of you with my hands and dream of knives, of waves, and of soil weighing me down.