Hot Tin Roof: The Bed

Hot Tin Roof
Hot Tin Roof is a program to showcase current literary work produced in Iowa City. The series is organized and juried by representatives of three Iowa City-based cultural advocacy organizations: The Englert Theatre, Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature and Little Village magazine.
By Alyssa Perry

We take all meals in the bed. Crumbs in the bed call fishmoths for morning. Of course dark prevails. Wake, fishes, he and I used to eat crackers, and for that we give ourselves over. I make kerfuffle, him, care, I do not. He does not try to rouse me from sleep, because I don’t to distraction. I rouse him. A sign on the door reads PLEASE NO UNNECESSARY DISTURBANCE THERE WILL BE COMPENSATION. Nothing disturbs me but goes by the name of fishmoth. Silverfish. Firebrat. Lepismatidae. They pass through the mosquito net whenever they please. How things get used into being. The children’s flashlights take a spindly pauper of my elbow crook. Window like a porthole to out-of-doors, where willow crotch slings the pane shut. As if I’d open for anything. Watch out the snacks, the door, field-tripped children, ceiling, bed under me. Once a maid parted the gauze; once she dusted over our face. Once I knew this room like how a god—forgotten, emerged from mountain crevasse, snow-blind—knows light. Try me: I won’t blink more. Still slumbering? No more, impersonal, I blame you. And the rule we don’t go for. We haven’t. Here we are, and how. I mean everything still smothered in crackers, and the world with us fed up. I stare the willow down and when I turn inward our net holds a paper airplane by the nose. It takes an hour to thread it home. I unfold the corner to encyclopedic C: COMMENSAL. We grub the same sheet. But what hiding’s so thick that hunger can’t prod it? Partner? Who’s spoonfed? Not them. Fishmoth, you, fishmoth, me. And none of us wings. Our bed nest scratches where their feelers crackled off, when shuttling your dreams, they dropped and forgot to retrieve them. I blame your having such dreams even bugs refuse to crawl back to. Maybe nothing can touch me, desire, lunking as a breakneck giraffe. Even when I was allowed the vacation day and restroom visits, I only climbed back up for that I believed ardently in novelty. But crackers? Rid of us these mongers whose efforts at love unbid my thoughts and prevent me to sleep. Sent to night without the story, where are we to find another? If that crooked elbow comes again I’ll do something I swear not to.

Alyssa Perry has knocked about Iowa most of her life. She studied theatre and writing at the University of Iowa, and will be returning for graduate school in the fall. She works at Rescue Press.

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