This is not a signifier of race.

She confesses to lilting candyman, candyman before the mirror at dawn, darkness barely lifted from the squat Brooklyn skyline outside the bathroom window.  The window is slim; so is the windowsill.  She’s broken nearly everything she’s placed on it over the years: smoky glass vases veined with yellow, white ceramic soap dishes, magazines and notebooks that plunked into the toilet and drowned.  Now the toilet is drowned in wasps.  The window sash.  The bed.  She imagines soft pulpy patches on the walls, lifts a toothbrush in the morning and its handle is weighted with one, half-dead, or is that half-alive.  Statement, not question.  She is alive looking at it, recognizing its death throes, the power she has over this dangerous, little thing.

She said it, not like the girls in the movie whose breath quickened or who coyly toyed with their Jesus necklaces while their lovers waited in the living room.  There was no rush of wind when she said it, no hook-handed man, no flush of blood, no entrails.  Just the wasps.  She curls over her knees on the toilet, they crawl along her spine like her lover’s hand, million-fingered, legion.  It’s a small thrill, expecting the sting, the wingbeat, the snarly buzz in her ear of a thousand drones who, losing their way, find her.

Her lover is afraid but she isn’t.  She knows that the thing on her pillow, stinger thrust through the whiteness, is curled and spent.  It is Candyman, unraced.  His gory hook, unsexed and removed.  The three black spots on its head, third eyes all of them, all of them blind.  There is a new one there each morning. But it isn’t her eyes they are looking for.

Creative Commons License
This work by V. Manivannan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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