by Jessica Cavero

Those days I’d watch Nightmare Before Christmas, stuff long streams of toilet paper in my cuffs so they would catch the wind when I danced. I was Sally, patchwork quilt skin girl, brewing potions, poisoning fathers. I fell from towers. Stitched my limbs when they cracked open, the impact of body on asphalt muffled as snow, and do you want to know what it was like? I only had thread and needle to put myself together.

What else can I tell you about that year? I played 90s survival horror, pretended I was Ada Wong in that zombie game and looking for the person who would love me at the end of the world, would take my heart in their teeth. Go ahead. Drink, eat.

I wasn’t in love. Still young enough to get my shoelaces wrong. Bunny ears, loop-de-loop, my knots always flimsy. But maybe the closest I got was in bed with her. Masturbating to old movies of naked women in rivers. Knife-pricking our wrists after we were done. When she brought her wound to my mouth, I kissed and kissed.

Sometimes I’d give anything to be in that room again, the smell of wet dog and hairspray on us, years away from her betrayal.

That was the year she and I dated the worst sort of boys but we didn’t know it yet, what they would do to us. In the bath, I sat between her legs, cupped foamy water and lathered my exposed knees, the shower head above us turned on the softest setting, like mist. The whole time she stroked my forearms, my thighs. You have so many moles, she said but her voice was awe-struck, like I was treasure and she was finding me before any one else did.  

Jessica Cavero is a writer living in New Jersey. Her work has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Barren Magazine, Jellyfish Review,  Wigleaf and elsewhere. You can read more of her work on and her twitter is @itangeishatrash. She is currently working on a novella.


Photography by: Allef Vinicius