I’m stupid. It’s okay — I can say it. I’m stupid; it fits like a stone in the mouth, stretching my jaw til it pops. I’ve learned to breathe around it, through the spaces between my teeth. It’s not so different than his fingers. No need to make it more complicated than it needs to be. God knows I’d hardly understand it if I did. I’ve never had the hands for untangling things. So I’m stupid. So I thought, or maybe, I wanted. Maybe I needed — and I didn’t mean it — maybe the need was something that happened to me; like a car cracking my sternum. I had no control. I was a small thing held in your palm. I was hopeful and I hated it. And maybe it was lesson — my lesson — and I never seemed to learn it. And maybe I still haven’t. Maybe I never will. I have to say it: I’m stupid. It fits like a stone in the mouth; it didn’t taste great at first, but now I don’t mind it. After a while, it doesn’t taste like anything at all.


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