Psychopomp Magazine Summer 2015 - Page 29

Lisa Nohner | 29

life. Though you hated eating, Erol insisted you do so: Just for the guests, at least.

When the lobster arrived, slick and steaming and red as a blood clot, your eyes filled with tears. Erol began cracking open the claws and your legs pinched together at the memory of the doctor between your legs. When the engorged white meat slimed out of its red skin, your thighs clenched. Your stomach lurched. And because everyone thought you were too thin, Erol made a huge show of feeding you. Guests tapped their forks feverishly against their wine glasses as Erol pulled you up into his lap and fed you curled shrimp from a skewer. Never will you forget the feeling of innocent, plump little bodies being thrust down your throat.

Following your marriage, people with cameras attached to their hands begin to hunt you down. They advance on you in both public and private, and before you know it, flashbulbs are exploding in your face. Little shooting stars wander across your line of sight. Erol insists it can’t be helped; everyone wants to know if you’re eating enough for two.

Two?

You are terrified of becoming pregnant. You are afraid she will come out with gills, with flippers. Or she will come out like Erol: she will eat her own ancestors. Sometimes at night, while he grinds himself against the frilly panties he buys for you, you pretend to be asleep. It’s sort of like home. Eels flopping against your skin, spraying your legs with tepid fluid.

Before you had legs, you didn’t even know where babies came from. You assumed humans, like merfolk, divested themselves of eggs, which the male of the species happily fertilized. Not so. On land, the process is much stickier. Messier. More painful.

Between his legs, Erol has a limp appendage that, when he is excited, lengthens from a dagger into a sword … A sword that would penetrate you over and over. When it has to happen, you clench your teeth and score his back, tearing at him as he tears into you. True love, you remind yourself. A soul.

Then, the seafoam. Thick and dirty between your legs.