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  • If I Were to Die by Suicide, It Couldn'T Be in My Grandmother's Apartment
  • Daniella Toosie-Watson (bio)

my aunt would touch my body too much, and I couldn't say no. She'd throw her body on my body, sobbing overdramatically. Her breasts against my breasts. Clothing, the illusion of protection. Her tear-wet lips on my forehead, cheek, my open, still warm, mouth. My body would twitch and jerk. If I didn't want her to mourn over me, I shouldn't have died, someone would say. I've been witness to this before. I'm in the shower, the door creaks open, I say don't come in, she opens the door fully, the only barrier between us a sliding glass door. The fog provides the possibility for protection. She laughs. I curl into myself, pull the hose away from my vulva, pretend I was only washing it. I am now perpetually naked in his memory. I cover my vulva with my hands after the act is done. Don't look, I ask. My ex rolls his eyes, I've already seen it. My aunt flails her arms in a pretend panic, laughing too loudly. I'm crying. He looks me in my eyes and smiles, I don't want to make you do anything you don't want to do. The next night at his house, I wake up to his fingers in my vagina. I wake up to his hands fondling my breasts. I wake up to his tongue in my mouth. I don't know what happened before waking up. My grandmother's apartment is already filled, anyway, with my grandmother's mementos: photo albums, history books, racks of her clothing from when she was young. My grandmother refuses to throw them away; they are comforting in their capacity to preserve the moment. My aunt complains that things with lack of utility should not take up space. She promises to throw them away once my grandmother dies. [End Page 113]

Daniella Toosie-Watson

DANIELLA TOOSIE-WATSON is a poet, visual artist, and educator in New York. She has received fellowships from the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and InsideOut Detroit Literary Arts Project. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Michigan's Helen Zell Writers' Program.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6512
Print ISSN
0161-2492
Pages
p. 113
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-26
Open Access
No
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