Pound It by Julie Reverb

I knew the crime scene well. It had four corners tucked in neatly within which I thought I’d be the only swastika, pinned and flailing at key moments. I felt nothing, often. I once slung a phrase I’d seen on a top shelf. Exposed gazes were me running through receipts. I had been charged twice. The scar above his eye had dimensions I could trace to the nth degree.

Sometimes, what I’d say would feel so concave I could see my organs piling neatly on a bedside table next door. The woman I’d never seen had been phantomly pregnant. The baby hadn’t been seen either but it gave the complaints about the noise weight he respected.

I looked for something knowing balancing between us but all there was was one of my hairs, distended. I brushed it from someone’s face. I could see the bus slowing outside and I wondered if the top deck could see my tits. The windows were so thin I woke up thinking I was in the road. There’s been a terrible accident. Spice Girls’ 2 Become 1 mixed with Philip Glass beginning with K. They’ve since been replaced.

I sometimes thought about her while he flinched upwards at me. Her head was a bowling ball but had what I’d decided were the most feminine nostrils I’d ever seen. Tiny, and facing God. I wondered if he could see the brain up mine. Maybe it was dripping down onto his chest. I wondered how I would phrase it to the surgeon and would I fall on my face in the first crucial, healing year.

She was going places; I loitered in foyers at wrong addresses. I picture my vibrating face when we meet in the bread aisle. I fumble and mutter: ‘Haven’t you grown’? I dig my nail in forever after. I think about how my stink bleeds through to the mattress and what she looked like in the morning. Will I get my deposit back.

Once, at 45.34 minutes in, he had a rapper proclaim: ‘I’m Leonardo, don’t make me draw your pain’. It was the clincher, this line. We had an agreement here. We’d bent ourselves over it, siamesely. I thought it made up for despising him at parties. For the flabby laugh, its clammy hand on your arse. The stink my mouth desperately smothered and my gagging at my own pride. ‘You’re better at it than the other girls’ filling every exit. As I walked to work I hoped it looked like I’d been fucked. That somebody thought it was worth impaling himself in my vicinity.

As he opened the door it was clear he’d left, but I persevered, carried myself up the stairs, arranged myself on the bed. I’m not sure for whose sake. Motions presented themselves to be gone through. It was a twitchy, eyes-down business. I wanted to turn to camera to deliver my Shakespearean aside but focused instead on tweaking, EQing myself in response to whatever he was phoning in. Nil points. This was a one-woman show with observational references to nothing you‘d ever know. ‘Don’t you hate it when’. I was dying a rhythmic death; I was Tommy Cooper with the curtains open. The slow clap synced with his blasé thrusts.

Julie Reverb is a London-based torch singer turned writer. Her work has appeared in nnATan and Sleeping Fish (Calamari Press). @juliereverb.