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A bathroom, a gymnasium, are these scary spaces?
Well, I’ve never seen the water this way
before, there were more trees.
I watch a woman run into the water
on fire. I put a
hatchet through her boyfriend’s skull, I
speak french in this movie. The trees
scratch the windows, I commissioned it so
    On a railway in a crypt I slide past 3 men,
their faces poked through by my gorgeous fingernails,
just these red pockets where their eyes were.
I don’t fuck anyone in this movie, I
just drink their blood, it’s better that
way. My sister comes back from Paris
to check on me. I grab her by the throat
and eat her, wow, it was hot. The
french are not hot. Or shouldn’t be. Next
I find myself in a field near a patch
of rhododendrons, I use them as bait. I
make a necklace, it rides up my neck, I
find a rock, I find a boat – I
have no need for boats Roger.
    I tie the flowers to a rock and
drift to the bottom of the river. My sister
comes back to life but she has no neck –
just a bit of her trachea I had been nibbling
away at that afternoon.
She fishes me out of the river with a paddle.
In protest I scoop water into her open neck
her guts splatter and gurgle but she won’t die
it's no use she’s dead like me, she died and
came back, we need to die again, she won’t
let me it’s a shame. It's all a shame.
    A lark chirps calmly on the river bank
its little lark prick resting gently in its
plumage. I bite it off and hand it to my sister –
she gobbles it down, she’s hungry too, but it
gets stuck in her trachea, it grows larger and
larger until her neck explodes completely
leaving her head bobbing in the little waves.
Well great, now I’m alone. And out of larks. I’ll
find a man. I see an american out on holiday,
a three piece suit and a camera, I shove it down
his throat – it rips its way down his esophagus but
this is unhelpful. How will he make me die?
I yell at him, distraught, “Stupid!” I yell at him,
“I am dead!” I yell at him. By this time the
camera has slid into his stomach and he crumples
to the ground belly up like a beached flounder. I
take out my claws and tear into his stomach, nibbling through his organs I put a bit of liver inside
me, a gall bladder, whatever else will fit. I
leave his prick alone though blood has pooled
into it.
    I’m a novitiate from Salamanca, I was
just here for a vocational conference of the
catechesis with Sister Katharina, she’s dead now –
I ate her, oh no.
    I rip off the american’s prick too now and throw
it into the river, eventually i move into his
intestines, nibbling and stripping with my huge
canines. I then rub them between my legs, “enough!”
I say, “These rhododendrons will not do.”
I take a hefty clump of intestine and tie it
around my neck, I squeeze the end of them between
my legs and hear a satisfying pop!
Shit spews all over the man’s face and down my
legs, warm and luscious. I take my new intestine
string around my neck. I am Venus.
I tie it around an overbearing oak. I
walk to the end of the cliff, put my
head through the loop and fall.
    If you’re reading this you’re
already dead, but really what is the
brevity of life. It’s a shame and also
not true. I care for you. Isn’t this the
way you’d want it?

Bianca Rae Messinger is a translator and poet living in Iowa City, Iowa. She is the author of the digital chapbook The Love of God (Inpatient Press, 2016) and The Land Was V There (89+/LUMA, 2014). Her translation of Juana Isola’s chapbook You Need a Long Table… was published by Monster House Press in 2018. In the Jungle There Is Much to Do, her translation of a children's book by Uruguayan anarchist Mauricio Gatti, was published by the Berlin Bienniale for Contemporary Art in 2019. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa.
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4 Dec 2023

“Ask me something only I would know.” You say this to your wife because you know you’re human. You can feel it in the familiar ache in your back, and the fear writhing in your guts. You feel it in the cold seeping into your bare feet from the kitchen floor. You know you’re real because you remember.
now, there is the shape...humanoid, but not / necessarily human
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