Mariya Deykute


Before it was a corpse it was a fish. It had a mouth like cave rot; it burrowed its enormous head between rocks. It ate rocks. It ate moss. It ate shit. It squatted in the blue aquarium shadows, regurgitated air. The kitchen glowed blue, to give it light. It ate light.

I drew red houses with pink rooms and slits for windows. I traded smiles for paper airplanes. I added fifteen to nineteen, divided by four. I recited Pushkin, again and again, loudly. It ate Pushkin. Every day, as I consumed porridge, herring, borscht, butter, milk, it watched me, groping the glass. At night, it ate sound, it ate slime, it ate river fog.

It ate my dreams before I killed it. It filled the bathtub with whiskers, with foul eggs. It smelled of rotting guts. It ate my mother. It bit piano keys with sharp bog teeth. It ate the amber lampshade, it ate algebra. It swallowed my father whole. It squirmed under my bed, and I was pressed into the ceiling. It ate the ceiling. It grew bloated, the carpet stuck to its fat belly, until it vomited glass and water.

With its wide mouth, it wanted to eat the world. I watched it fall. I picked it up. It squirmed wet in my hands. I cupped my hands over it. It twitched. I listened. It twitched. I listened. It stopped. Someone breathed frost onto the glass outside.

I uncupped my hands. I opened my mouth.

read "eradication" by Mariya Deykute