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Feb 2015

Kathy tells me about god in the bathroom stall.
She tells me about the time when he told her
that we’re really all just suffering together.
“I was at Harry’s basement party,
drunk leaning against a wall, standing by myself,” she says.  

She says she can taste the suffering the most when she’s standing in church,
eating one of those **** communion wafers.
I laugh without knowing; I’ve yet to eat a communion wafer.


When Kathy gets really drunk
she grapples at my hand
and forces it to her skin.
She says my hand sobers her up
more than water does. When I touch her forearm
it is as though I am touching a dead infant.

When I touch skin I am thinking about standing outside
in air that could only be so cold in the summer,
my body all bare, my body standing outside
of a loud and lit up house
with me whispering,  “please don’t touch me, just let me shiver,
just let me faint here peacefully.”

When I think of skin I think of my grandmother and her wrinkles,
of generations of wrinkles.
Looking into the bathroom mirror
I see the body of my grandmother and the face of my mother.
I am desperate for a toilet.


Kathy knows about the days when all I do is eat.
She knows about how much I like peanut butter,
about how my skin sags from my ankles,
hangs around my wrists. But still
she holds me when I must *****.
loisa fenichell
Written by
loisa fenichell  ny
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