Bethany Serino – Wolf


I don’t see you very often. Your hair is black and your teeth are big. They call you ‘Wolf’, I call you your name. You catch me, don’t you? Yellow fingers down my spine dripping in the steam singing california california.

I can push you, can’t I? I can push you in the back of the taxi, as you catch me, as the driver speaks in an other language to a loved one on the phone.

And our feet collide and I try to move my mouth to yours but your head drops back, then forward too far, and I can feel your hipbone settle just above mine. And I think it fits, and I tell you so. And I tell you how it reminds me of adam and eve and the rib.

And you vomit black slices of spring onion and oyster sauce in slurps in to my handbag, coat pockets, and one slice gets caught in my hair. And you apologise, place your finger between the strands and swipe it downwards like a credit card. It lands on the back of my hand, still on your leg, then slides off and leaves a brown mark.

And I still want to kiss you.

You’re a victim. Aren’t you?

And now we’re at your house and you get out of the taxi, and run inside, and now the driver has stopped speaking in his other language. He speaks in plain angry ancestral english about fifty quid and leather seat and smell.

And I sit there in your goo, hand over all the money I have and leap from the seat. I don’t know which door it is, but the second one isn’t locked and past the hum of an open fridge and the street lamp outside I see you laying on the setee, one leg off, bent foot grazing the floor in a dirty shoe.

And I put my bag of sick down and climb on top of you. And I walk out the back door singing worthless worthless.

I am not a victim.

I want to see you more. When you speak, your lips go thin, and when you eat, they go fat, and when you kiss they stay the same.

That baby you have doesn’t look like you. I don’t trust your girlfriend and I don’t trust your mother. They can’t push you like I can. Can they?

I trust your father. He used to beat you didn’t he? Cheat on your mother with other women, grab her by her hair and pull her up the stairs when he wanted to fuck. Bent her over the bath, told you to go away or he’d leather you and you went downstairs and drank that cheap coke and you cried.

You always cry. You’re a victim.

Your baby cries too.

Perhaps we should stop seeing each other.

I told you a secret once. But I know all of yours.

I told you how the night wants to swallow me, and the devils in the bushes growl in my ear and the snakes in the cracks in the pavement curl up past the magma and soot, wrap around my legs pulling me under and under.

I want you to stop. I want you to stop catching me. Dripping in the steam with your yellow fingers.

I am not a victim.

You told me you’re scared of dying. I think you should be scared of me.


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