My Misfortune

By Alicia Liddell

The car is full. Napkins litter the ground and an empty paper bag still smells of french fries. There’s nothing here, I shout. There’s nothing here. Your big, swollen hands fold around my waist. Shhh, you whisper with inflated lips and tightly closed eye lids. There is trash next to you in the back seat so I’m forced to sit on your lap. I shrink as I climb into the car. Your fingers, the size of hot dogs, rest too long on my cheek as you attempt to pull a strand of hair behind my ear. These are tiny ears and you’re hands are too big. There’s nothing here. I’m still trying to shout, but my voice is getting quieter. You reach up to your eyes and take one out and hold it in front of me. Stop looking at me, please, I ask.

I go to sleep with the giant because my ankles are shackled. I take one of your arms and cuddle it like a pillow and rest my head in your palm as I face the gorge of the bend in your elbow. I want to bite away at it. Probably tastes like cotton candy from a roller hockey arena. I don’t want to see your lips, I don’t want to know that they’re parted and glistening while you breathe. The cavern of your mouth houses lemurs who giggle at my misfortune.

“How did you lose the key?” they’ll ask.

“I was careless, and anyway, I thought I could pick the lock. I was wrong though. This one is heavy.”

“Of course it is,” they laugh,”Of course it is.”

The hot sun rises through the stable door. The lemurs climb through your teeth and claw at your tongue. You mumble a reply. I don’t know why I’m trying to tell you, I yell into your mouth. You mumble some more.

We can’t keep doing this, there is nothing here. I have a stomach ache and my insides hurt. Your hot dog fingers were sweating last night and stunk up the whole room. They almost suffocated me. I almost tossed my cookies.

You frown your spider leg eyebrows and pout your banana slug lips. I don’t have a key, you say. There is no key. There are no shackles. Let’s eat breakfast. The lemurs are hungry, you must be starving after a night like that.


Alicia Liddell resides in Portland, OR. She almost didn’t make it through the rainy season and was told it wasn’t a bad winter.
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