Rotting Women

By Sophie Westergren


This morning I shaved my pubes into a flooded bathtub. That

piece of green buried in my lower gum finally came out.

It was brown and dried.

It was crawling from my wet socket.

Into a flooded bathtub.

              I like stroking the things most likely to kill me.

The back window of his 1999 Polo doesn’t quite roll all the way down—

leaving a smooth curve of glass that I lean my neck into.

     My finger curling in a press against it—

  I accept it.

             Just like always.

  I am not trying to die.

  I am dying.

My tongue is often blistered.

Today it was from microwavable chicken teriyaki that I had left packed in my backpack for three hours without refrigeration.

It thawed, dripping into my pencil pouch.

When I have sex with someone new,

                  I have dreams—lying in their bed.

         My teeth are decaying—

Only in the center.

Only the edges of a toothy box remaining—

When I’m lying in their bed

My teeth are decaying—

Bone & Rot.

       Rot & Bone.

              Rot & Bone.

Sometimes I eat chicken and that’s exactly what I can taste: Bone & Rot.

Its feathers.

Its bumpy yellow skin.

I gag almost every time I eat It.

           It is my favorite meal.

       I am not here just when you want me to have sex with you.

When you think I am not dreaming at all.

That’s when I don’t want to kiss you with my blistered tongue.

I am not here just for you to think I am without flaws.

That I can fix you.

I can’t even fix the pain in my back From falling.

From falling asleep in the shower.

Stillwater Magazine