our redemption songs are what: collaborative generating #7

Collaborative Manifesto Project: here.

“She knocks on the door and says, ‘Open up.’” ZZ Packer, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (via Serena W Lin)

She knocks on the door and says, “Open up.”
I tell her, “I won’t pretend I’m good at forgiving.” I find out
you were with her in the walking lanes at Berkeley four years
ago. I cry for hours when she tells me. I hear my voice scurry,
all nerve gone. I am full of malice, spite, and I swear to myself:
fuck, please, don’t kill her. I throw her a Milwaukee beer and
we sit on the couch to talk. “He told me he liked me,” she says.
“I lied to you for him.” I tell her you love me. She jots down on
a piece of paper all the things she is: a dolphin, a wooden hook,
flower-shaped dots on a white dress, all gifts from Hawaii, all
gifts to her from you. The room becomes larger. I show her my
engagement ring, still saying you love me. “Four years ago,” she
repeats again, “he gave me these things.” She throws the paper
in the air and it falls gently, swaying as if there were wind
in the room. I tell her we’re married. Her face becomes flesh
without such violence. She cries under a yellow, fluorescent sky.
She leaves without a word, and I become slow, slow, saying this trick:
I am diminished and all right.

Collaboration and inspiration from all, ZZ Packer (via Serena), Serena, Chin-In, Paul, Mel, Leah, Hari, Sade (via Hari), Carol, Bushra, Anna, Todd, and many more.

Prompt:
“Go out into the world and live. We may not be in Paris like Hemingway, but go across the street at University Village and get a nice sandwich from the nice sandwich lady, and watch her slice an avocado into perfectly thin green arches.”

– Aimee Bender (from a speech at the Undergraduate Writers’ Conference at USC).

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