The Days After the Train Hit You by Georgia McCandlish

Most days I taste incorrectly. Everything chews wrong. Peaches are soft and cottony and freshly laundered. I write on small cards about the things that I put in my mouth to remind myself of the seasons, because I don't have anyone to tell. I drink tea and it is like someone's bed sheets. Beverages are mostly of dryer lint and compost.

I've been lying in bed these days just feeling my teeth with my tongue and fingers. I feel them grow from guilt when I rest my head down and try to sleep. My jaw falls off onto the mattress. I pick it up and put it, hard and inanimate, into a glass of milk. The orange on my desk smells like the ocean. It tastes of my mother's skin.

Parts of me fall off every day now, though mostly skin. I have had my eyelashes and toenails since I was born but the soft hair on my earlobes whistles when I sit down. My body is a wooden chair and my hands are useless shoelaces. Pizza tastes like a wrought iron staircase. Everything tastes like railroad ties.

I have become a messier eater. My fruits dribble and the crumbs of teacakes stick to my belly, heavy as a steam engine. I swell with the way you tasted of sky and animal fur, billboards and open road. I walk the strip mall in front of the tracks and try to return to just simple sweet and sour. To escape bitter though, I would give continents.

A woman comes up to me while I am buying things at the CVS and says excuse me, ma'am, but is this your lipstick that you dropped? I do not wear lipstick but she looks at me like she knows. She looks at me like she knows I should be guilty and doubled over, crying. Yes, I say. Yes, thank you. I do not blink when I meet her eyes and she reaches out one hand and touches my lips like you used to. She lingers on my cupid's bow and opens her mouth as thought she is about to whisper I love you but she doesn't. Instead she walks away to buy lotion or breath mints or fill her prescriptions of whatever she came here for.

Georgia is a college student in living sporadically in St. Louis, MO and Washington D.C. She writes things sometimes and makes a lot of art which can be found over at