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a robbery

By TJ Price

You always have to have the last word whenever we fight, but this time, when you try to speak, a man in a ski mask crawls out of your mouth, scraping his shins on your teeth, and he assiduously sets to robbing us as if we weren’t standing there, shocked; he digs through the drawers*; he rifles through the shelves†; even steals the keys to the apartment‡; and finally, when he is done, he says something to both of us◊, then climbs into my gaping jaws and shuts my lips behind him, which purse like a keyhole§

* and thieves all of your underwear

† and rips out a single page from each of our books

‡ but only mine because you've lost your set again and that's what this whole fight is about in the first place, you're always losing things, always letting little things slide, like forgetting to lock the door at night even though I have said so many times I am afraid of things like this

◊ then robs the meaning of it, so that I don’t remember what he said in the first place

§ or a kiss.

TJ Price has left ghosts of himself all over New England, from the woods of northeastern Connecticut to the islands of southern Maine, though his most recent apparitions have been in the graveyards of Brooklyn, NY and Twitter, where his incorrigibly loquacious poltergeist can be invoked at @eerieyore.

Art by TJ Price.

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