by a contributor

Brandi Wells

All the skinless cats go to live in the house across the street
          So much sticky pus is left behind that I use it to form a new cat. A permanent cat that cannot leave me even if it wishes to do so. I place this cat on the center of the kitchen table and we have conversations while I’m eating meals or while I’m sitting at the table and not eating meals.

The cat I formed of sticky pus leaves me too
          He goes across the street to live in the house where she and he live. I watch them sitting in the living room together. They hold the sticky pus cat in their lap and stroke him. He curls into a ball and falls asleep. All the other cats, still skinless, gather around their feet and sleep.
          It is domestic. It is a thing that has not existed for decades. Domesticity is dangerous. Like the science. Like religion. Domesticity has long been eradicated. It is punishable several ways. One: the couple is dragged into the street. They are dragged into the street for hours. It is not a quick dragging. It is not at a thing that quickly comes to pass. It is a true event and it is done perfectly. Two: the couple is made to remove the other’s heart, simultaneously. If the couple refuses, their intestines are pulled out and wound together. Then they are still made to remove each other’s hearts. Three: Nothing happens and they are allowed to continue their existence as is. This third punishment is considered to be the worst of all the punishments.

Brandi Wells is Managing Editor of The Black Warrior Review and Web Editor at Hobart. She is the author of Please Don’t Be upset (Tiny Hardcore Press) and Poisonhorse (Nephew, an imprint of Mud Luscious Press). Her fiction can be found in Salamander, Mid-American Review, 14 Hills and many other journals.