Read an excerpt from a collaboration between Alina Stefanescu, Dylan Willoughby, and I, that was recently published on On the Seawall. Gratitude to editor Ron Slate for publishing our work!
Read/view more at the link.
Man and Woman DTLA by Dylan Willoughby, my flash fiction response to this is below.
At first I sewed in just a word. They used it like a mantra, assimilated it into their muscle. I got the idea from writing en plein air and an elderly lady sat next to me and said it was the first time she was supporting the arts.
Later it became whole stanzas in the gluteus maximus. It made people feel safe, that their message was pinned down when they sat.
He was an experiment born of loneliness. Look at the way I put him together, miskin. At night I liked to spoon with him, run my hands from his round belly and into his chest hair. It is a little more wiry than I’d planned, but then I tried to put more effort into his face and well … you can see what happened.
“Please look into camera 2 as you answer the next question.”
The first full line was ‘disregard my tangled breath’ sewn into the pectoralis major. He has all the lines I’ve mentioned earlier. And a tool kit built into his right shoulder. I make all my models ambidextrous.
She’s … I thought we weren’t going to talk about her today … Camera 1?
I built her in the dark. It was the second lockdown and loneliness had settled into lust. I took long baths and seduced myself. My hand became that of a stranger upon my face, my neck, between my thighs.
After that the face was second nature. My hands were adept at feeling beauty out. I stayed up one night and her fingers startled me in the morning. Colder than mine, less urgent. Her vocal chords were tuned just right. When we spooned, her feathered hair went into my nose and made me giggle.
His hands were not as gentle and it only took not locking him up once. Her eyes were exaggerated and his were wrong, but they did see eye to eye on this one.
It wasn’t meant to be funny!