Untitled (I Bought a Ticket to Amsterdam).

By Priya Ele.

“She liked to break her skin on salt and knife the yolk /
and hold ceramic in soft hands and carry and watch and listen.”

Turbulence II by Luigi Quarta.

after Frank Stanford

I bought a ticket to Amsterdam and stayed at a horse themed hotel
I saw smothered ducks find safety with beaks pressed to yellow lines
I saw the man with the dead father force plastic gloves down
his throat. They popped behind his teeth in staccato in symphony
When I was sixteen my little sister would wake up early to make
me eggs. She liked to break her skin on salt and knife the yolk
and hold ceramic in soft hands and carry and watch and listen.
At night I read storybook pages about 27 year old musicians
I performed as an infidel with my blood turning blue broken
bleeding. I found my way to a European airport with cold feet
I lent the skin of my teeth out for a bottle of red wine
I held the wrist of someone I met twice and
I pressed stones into the cavity of their skull
sharp nails tangled in eyelashes
soft and sweet as cooking oil.
I know a lot of young women who
like to read the Wikipedia pages of dead little girls
Through the townhouses and the pavement and
the confessional booth I go catastrophic
a burning match a garden with fingernail
bruises gnawed coated sealed in sunburn
Through the plane ride I imagine my knees breaking
and it being dark enough that I wouldn’t be able
to see the difference
I have a technique for drowning
swallowing winter stained water
torn open in body heat, it’s so easy to
curse under the surface.
As if I earned my living in a passenger seat
I almost always stare at hands at fingerbones at backbones
at red lights.
I assume that there is a soft spot on my spine
as easy to crack as oyster shells
I’ve thought a lot about Frank Stanford
interpreting the dementia of cheerleader’s waists
I write on mirrors and split grapefruit and coat
it with crystalline sugar.
In the Fall I pretend that I fixed it all
I lurk behind circus tents with the entirety
of my ribcage upended reversed turned
inside out to carry between three spans of my hand
Red is the color of the inside of my stomach
I wait at the airport with my face baked into sixes

and I say to my mom on the phone that I think
I’m becoming someone I don’t even understand and
there’s no way I can apologize for it there’s no way at all

The Blood Pudding – November 27, 2023

Priya Ele is a New York based writer. She studies dramatic writing at New York University and has work forthcoming in Passages North, with work in a variety of other places. Her play “Red Handed” was performed Off Broadway at the Soho Playhouse as part of the Lighthouse Series. You can find her on twitter @priyaeler.

Artwork: Luigi Quarta, italian surreal artist, based in Parabita – a small town in the province of Lecce- has a knack for dreaming up surreal masterpieces. His work is constantly surprising.You can find more about him here.