1895 c/o Rebekah Morgan

Little Marion Miller Played
With Matches and Was
Her Father Shot Himself When He
Saw the Child's Blackened

It’s hot, it’s Virginia, it’s July. I squish a bed bug on the wall and I leave it there. I squish one against the black metal futon frame and I want to die. I stand in the middle of the room take half a xanax bar and try to hide from the biting of my own death wish. I stand at the small linoleum counter, I light the hot plate and stick my head in the cupboard under the counter, I pretend the cupboard is an oven and wait. The cupboard is not an oven, I request an Uber and head to my parents cause my apartment is being bug-bombed today. I just want to take an oatmeal bath.

The Uber smells like weed and cigarettes, I don’t know what I smell like. There are snacks in a Safeway bag on the seat. I scratch my hands, my bug bites are oozing a golden liquid and the bug bites bleed a lot when I scratch them. My thin black socks are crusty and they’re caked to my skin from the puss, leaving some little yellow crunchy spots on my socks. There are a few older brownish blood stains on my jeans, bits of my dried skin are filling the spaces underneath my fingernails. I hate this, but, I also sort of love picking the old scabs when I’m not having an itch fit. It takes almost forty minutes from Hog Waller on the jammed I-64e to get to my parents place in Zions Crossroads. The Uber driver tells me about seeing Jethro Tull play three nights in a row in 1973 way out in California.

I may make you feel but I can't make you think
Your sperm's in the gutter, your love's in the sink

I stare at my phones black screen, it’s scratched. I think the Uber driver is too old to be an Uber driver. I scratch at my ankles till they bleed and the Uber driver glances a lot in the rearview mirror at me and frowns with his moustache and exhales loudly. There is no cross hanging from the mirror. My whole body is crawling inside and out. I try to stop mauling myself and just think about floating out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean but quickly give up and paw at the thick denim covering the bites on my thighs with both hands. My fingernails are useless papery numbs. I should take zinc supplements or ,  I’m losing my fucking mind.

We pull up alongside Daddy’s banged up Honda Civic, my tits itch. Mom’s car is not home, Mom’s car is at some new-age hippy retreat up in the Blue Ridge Mountains on Skyline Drive with Mom. I remember how they started charging people twenty-five dollars to enter the Skyline and can feel my ears start burning red. The Uber driver sneezes two times really fast as I open the door.

“Bless you, thank you, sorry, bye, sorry”

I drop my phone behind the front passenger seat while getting out.

“Ugh, fuck, sorry, sorry”

I slam the door of the Uber by accident and give Ol’ Jethro 5 stars, dying with my feet planted in the quackgrass.

The front door is unlocked and inside the house it smells like burning eggs; it’s always smelled like burning eggs. There’s a new bright blood stain forming on the cuff of my jeans, my foot feels wet. I take off my shoes. I take off my crunchy socks. I scratch my feet sitting on the floor in the hall till they’re numb. Daddy’s bluetick coonhound named Pants stares at me and walks away. Pants is better than this, Pants has a huge nutsack. I stand up and see Daddy standing out back through the sliding glass door. He’s wearing his black and red Washington Nationals baseball cap, just standing there in the yard with his fat body and old his teeth. I pick a too fresh scab on my wrist and push it through a hole in the screen, Daddy watches. We don’t greet each other.

“Dad? Dad? Dad…”

He just keeps standing there in the yard with eyes squinting into the sun and his hand held up to his head like he’s saluting an angel.

“Frances, do you have any oatmeal?”

Dad looks at me still squinting, breaks his salute and places his hand on the top step of sunbleached pool ladder that is the monument of our poolless backyard.


In the kitchen i find a box of All Natural Arrowhead Mills - Gluten Free - Instant Quinoa and Oat Hot Cereal in the cupboard. Three grams of dietary fiber per serving, no added sugar, and non-gmo verified. It’s not oatmeal but, I take it to the bathroom anyways and dump the whole box into the bone dry bathtub. I don’t think quinoa is gonna fix anything at all. I take off my tee shirt and turn on the hot water. I take off my band-aide jeans and my bra, throw them on the tile floor. I pull my underpants down and sling them at the door with one dumb bloody foot as I take a piss. I scratch my chest with one hand and my lower back with the other hand as I pee. I don’t bother with toilet paper and flush. I look in the mirror and dig my thumb nail into a bite on my neck two times, making a small “X” across the bite. I stare at the orange seashell on the sink, Daddy uses it as an ashtray when he shits. Dad said it’s a kamikaze seashell and I don’t know what that means. There are four and a half Pall Mall butts in the orange seashell. I stare at the red pack of matches next to the orange kamikaze seashell ashtray and think about just setting myself on fire as I get in the bathtub.