Ne Rein (It’s Nothing)

by Vanessa Willoughby

And before you hoarded the bill, before your eyes
Set fire to the moon-eyed waitress, jailbait-Jessica-Rabbit
Fighting against a dress three inches too short, lashes
Fluffed with fur, a slippery, trickster vision shimmying
Claws clutching a one-way ticket to
Purple haze heaven.
And before you confessed, letting
Your tongue snake around
Blue velvet loneliness served neat
You made sure to draw blood in preparation for the bruise.

“I like how you have the face of a nymphet,” you said.
Death breathing like little gills beneath your dewy skin
Hand hovering over a smoking mouth
Watching the molted walls of the motel room churn into lava.
“I like when I call tell what you want to say, when your eyes don’t say anything at all.”

You scrubbed the beauty out of our sensuality
Like you were the one with the damned spot.
Out! Out! Out!

This has become our honeymoon.
There’s the unforgiving crowbar of regret whipped from temple to temple.
There’s the cough of the spy spilling out of her booth
Losing her battle with self-control, a tense pause after every third bite of food
Watchers in the woods ready to inspect our insides like deviant bones.

Vanessa Willoughby is a writer and editor. Her work has been featured on The Toast, The Hairpin, Electric Cereal, The Nervous Breakdown, Words Dance, and The Huffington Post. She is a Prose Editor for Winter Tangerine Review. This is her second appearance in Slink Chunk Press. 

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