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Thoughts Leading Up to My Successful Au Pair Application

By Candace Walsh

The son I carried for <famous actress> (I know who she is but can’t say: hint hint, she’s winkingly Sapphic enough to quicken our pulses) is five, quarantining with Mum and her husband (harrumph) on their English estate, the article said she humbly admits to success with homemade crumpets and wryly bemoans daily squabbles over home learning; a child often sulks and balks when his mother picks up schoolmarmish chalk…they’d never need to know he once swelled my belly and plucked my sciatic nerve like a fresco’s cherub plays a tiny lute, as I, back then, nineteen, disowned for my exposed desires and all alone, soothed myself to sleep with think of the money, the money, the money…stocks and bonds, now, duplex, security, wrapped within a boredom and sadness ourobourous; her onscreen kisses with women so peony-lush, I know that homing in of the eyes, intention in lips and tongue, a thundering tell, the hairs on my arms rise up, it’s like being touched: after lessons and dinner done, the walk on her heath a-hum in my blood, I’d offer my body to her once more, this time—late night, can’t sleep, alone, nightcap, slow burn, décolleté, declivities, hush-hush—for free.

Candace Walsh is a creative writing (fiction) PhD student at Ohio University; she wrote the NM-AZ Book Award-winning Licking the Spoon: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Identity (Seal Press).

Embroidery and Photograph by Candace Walsh.


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