They had howled and draped into their own feces—dripped and blackened. All warred.
Shone sells crack. She has cuts on her fingers. She walks crooked like she is beaten with sticks at night and told to be a tramp. Those men have swords, she says and she points and she whispers. Her voice has been torn out of her throat by snakes.
Lance has a ribbon on his shirt and smells like oil. The others supplicate. The in and out of the pastures, of the barnyard vices, is on their skin. The massed—housed in the basement of an ex-communicated monastery—are un-abased and ruthless. We will picket the crack dens, Lance says and he thinks that the ghosts of the earth are free to eat.
The barber massages himself in the bathroom and then he erupts. He twists and tries to undo his face. He makes cuts into the mirrors and his veins are red inside and red now on the floor. The faint light in the afternoons grows—his cloaked madness and anger. He weeps on the steps. I cannot die, he says.
Shone is well versed and later weds—after dealing crack for her adolescent years. Her veins in her arms had become tiny dry wells and she had turned to her thighs then her toes then her neck. I have drained myself, she had thought and her pimp had whipped her and made her look like a street troll.
And now she is married and un-cut. Were you castrated, the man asks. I am not a male, Shone says. Oh.
It is time to behead.