Issue 35, Final Fringe

Apology for Brother

by Jaclyn Watterson Issue 31 07.09.2012

By the time I touched it, I knew it was a penis.

But at first, the penis lying alone in the salt flats looked like a very large cashew. I had never been in so much salt, and I thought perhaps the preservation qualities of the stuff enlarged the nut. It was admittedly a fleshy, ashy nut. But Brother, I live alone, and have seen stranger things.

I knew it was a penis by the time I touched it, but when I put it into my cunt, I didn’t know it was yours.

Brother, I swear it.

We stopped to see the salt. For miles, salt and nothing else. It glared. It glittered. I struggled to recall the interstate. My apartment was lost. I went into the salt.

I took off my shoes.

I forgot you.

My veins swelled with thirst. I had lost my shoes, and couldn’t remember if I’d been wearing jeans or a skirt. I didn’t know anything about a shirt. But I still had my sports bra and panties, and the salt tasted delicious, dissolving slowly, fibrously in my mouth. If only I had a tomato, I said to a dead and perfect box elder bug nestled in the salt. And then I thought, Keep going. You’ll find your tomato.

I walked on, and the salt cut the bottoms of my feet. Cracks became fissures, and I worried the salt would give way. I would fall through. To disperse my weight, I slithered.

In the salt flats, I was the only one, and I was going toward mountains. But a problem developed: my cunt felt empty. At first I thought it was dehydration.

But my cunt was not dehydrated. A thick mucus told me so.

Brother, you do not know my empty cunt. But do you remember my first mucus? I was thirteen and it came out in my underwear, and when I showed you, you said, It’s nothing to be afraid of. But you would not look at my cunt. Told me not to use that word.

In the salt flats, I slithered on, and I grew tired of the glittering salt. I didn’t know anything, but the salt stung the many cuts on my body. Once I had underwear, but now I was naked and my cunt was an empty chamber. My cunt throbbed and gaped, and I thought to fill it. I tried my fingers.

But fingers, covered in salt, sucked the mucus from my cunt, and then it was dry and empty, and still the sun.

I hadn’t seen anyone else in my life, and—as I have said—I had forgotten you.
So when I first saw the penis, a fat curl there in the salt flats, I thought it was a gargantuan cashew—certainly not organic, but if cashews could grow as far north as Utah—the farthest west we’d ever been, Brother—they wouldn’t be organic. Yes. If cashews grew in the salt flats, I’m sure they’d do it just like that penis, out in the open, no need for sheathing trees or false fruits. I’m telling you, soft though it was, it sat proudly on the stately salt.

By the time I touched it, I knew it was a penis and not a cashew.

I picked it up. And it grew a little firmer, and that’s something you’ll have to take responsibility for.

My cunt was empty, I held a penis in my hand, I made the obvious choice. More friction going in than was comfortable, but I was out of mucus and wasn’t going to lick a strange penis I found lying on the ground.

And once it was in, my cunt was quiet. The gaping was memory.

Back at the car, beside the interstate, you unlocking your door. Looking at me. You said, I’m looking at you dubiously.

Why? I asked.

And then I saw that you were naked like a kid. And minus a penis.

You said, Where is my dick?

I forgot to pee, I said. I ran to the women’s, but I could not get your penis out of my cunt. Brother, I tried.

Jaclyn Watterson

Jaclyn Watterson

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Jaclyn Watterson’s work also appears in places like PANKelimaeThe Fiddleback, and Specter. She teaches writing at the University of Utah.