Sleepingfish infinite

Vasovagal by Gary Lutz



To backtrack only ever gets me as far as this: Having had that youth, having had that husband, that creatureling unrelished and impractical, and that sweated figuration on him I’d once touched in the impatient back-and-forth: I didn’t want that thing yawing in my direction again.
       Hatred, in short, but not in so many words.
       Thanks for asking.
       Then a woman of disputable peoplehood.
       She was the glummer of the two of us, more out of sorts with herself and the harangue of our heartbeats. She bulled into her sleep and came out of it with unperfected follies of feeling.
       She painted discouraging waiting-room erotica.
       She complained of being hemmed in by phenomena, pinned down in true-enough stories of bodies goofed together for the emotional marvel of it.
       To count for something, life kept shoving herself apart.
       She’d been taught that when you’re stuck for what to say, you’re always safe with “What keeps you at bay?”
       Like most of some kind, she lived and loved spottily, with lonesome turns of mind and an unsporting heart.
       To wit: Wherever there are two people even anything like us, one is forever the casualty of the other.
       We were a pair of the unpairing.
       I’d let her go sloping off after someone after someone.
       Her e-mails always started: All,

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Gary Lutz is the author of The Gotham GrammarianStories in the Worst Way and Divorcer, all three from Calamari Archive, as well as I Looked Alive and Partial List of People to Bleach, and the forthcoming chapbook Assisted Living.


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