Child Nuns


The girl says she is in the bath. She says she is in her howled house. She is swatted and uncomfortable. We wade and beat her into the dirt. It is the chair: it has been in the office since after her second violent and inappropriate incident. The loose political candidates, once, were unfettered.

When she was in the bath, prior: “Ekk—ekk—ekk!”

He is not about to move the chair. He knows that it makes her tense and ill and easy. Earlier and again, she says she is in the bath and he thinks and shakes his head because she is ten. I have been unsickened, he thinks. In the futured lifed, they are only tempted, not drowned and decimated.

Once, she is eager and answers: “Ten.” She says. But now she squirms and looks uncomfortable. “I am not really ten,” She says. He draws circled wings in his notebook but does not look at her. I think she has looked to become a monster, he thinks. I cannot bear monsters, he thinks.

She is not rallied behind the dumpsters. She is sweated into caped heroine rescue shrieks and run into the blue bubbles of gym class. It is easier, often, to house the unkept and illusory and false lies of the truth life of her friend. Better than her own—than what she owns. She squirms and is uncomfortable.

“I am not really ten.” She says again. It is girl say, she is in the bath, it is she say. The chair is made of the kind of leather that sticks to her back and to her clothes and makes suction sounds when she leans forward. He decides to look from his circled wings to her. She has unwound herself. This is the third incident, he thinks and reaches for the file cabinet.


She is skinned and bleeded and attached to the walls of his office like the thin parts of the newspaper. With her chart, he walks across the room, shakes his head, scrawls. He cannot find her bones but her skin is here, and here.

My office is coated in her sick skin, he thinks. It must be the chair, he thinks.


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