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Servitude

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Heart painted lips poke outwards as though mucous squeezed from an tender, shuddering eyeball. A frog pout and sucked in pink-tone cheeks battle for prominence on her round face. Poisoned yellow eyes swim, darting and floundering, in glaring ovals of cerulean paint. Eyebrows smothered, color gagged in virgin white over the chocolaty grey of her asthmatic skin. Unshined silver hair perches like the dried, immobile sand of a beach day castle on the tip top of her head. Dust hangs in the drapes of lace and chiffon oozing off her wasting body; it latches on like leeches, sticking to her bustle, her moth-eaten petticoats, the succored yellow stripes of her sweat-moistened overcoat. On her feet, shrunken forms that buckle her feet like rotten bananas; in her hands, a tray of tea.

"I stand, I stand, my darling dearest
Your patient of eternity
Your doting wife
I dote, I dote, come now, your tea grows cold
Your bed sheets grow cold, I can still give you a son
My bones aren't so dry
My heart beats me, convulsing me like a seizure still
For fear, for want of my lord's wishes
I will cup the water to your mouth
Brush the cobwebs from your dangling eyelashes
Boil your toes in the fire
So they do not catch hypothermia
I will order my servants to serve you
Oh.
They are long gone, I regret
I suppose you cannot be served, then
I will stand here and bring you tea

Come out, dear, it's been too long
I wear yellow, to match my puss-colored eyes
Like you always loved
And I long to see your bitterness
The extending threads of your mustache
As they splutter and writhe across the worm of your mouth
I long to rest my hand on your meaty shoulder
Suck the pain from your pimply back like always
Watch you turn burgundy in your fury
At my stillborn child
Because it would not have been a boy, anyway
I long to see you happy
Grunting, like those times you locked me
In the servant's quarters and felt up one of them
A pig, lurching to the sound of their screams
Come out dear, it's been too long"

Flesh clumps like lard, wrinkles molding mountains and gutters into which white flakes drift like moldy down. Dried shavings of white paint picking off like scratched scabs, or flesh, molting? Candy pink lips shed layer after layer and gather more and more dust, home to creeping centipedes and sewn shut by toxic arachnid cobwebs. Their pigment trickles like wax down her chin, becoming amaranth, cherry blossom, puce. Eyes become prunes, sticky and dry in Kewpie doll sockets. Mosquitoes swarm in the tepid tea. Maggots burrow in her ears and gnaw at the tough scraps of her brain. Inside the tomb, the long dead king breathes the fibers of his mustache and is feasted on by carpenter ants and termites, chewing the leathery bark of his skin and sucking the marrow from shards of his bones. He lies, cold, bruises on his back from the stone backing under him. His stocky brows are forever knit in fury. The lady stands, faithful.



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