“Ye of little faith” by Joanna Acevedo

Everything has a bit of you in it. Ten days, the nails on my right hand, a tuxedo cat, a bad omen. I smoke the days like cigarettes. The inside of my mouth knows you. If you were a flavor, what would you be? I put the gun down on the table. We have become very disparate. The sirens tell me what I do and do not know. I want to have nothing to do with myself. Do you hear me thinking of you? I’m trying to be less sentimental. You say my inevitable slide into disrepair doesn’t surprise you. “I thought you were already there,” you say. I pretend this doesn’t hurt me. “Ye of little faith,” I say. This is supposed to be a joke.

Separation has a sound; it is your Southern accent after too many whiskey shots. I pretend I am the only one who can hear it. I am coming to a greater understanding about the universe. Peel me like an onion and see the layers; what is underneath is just as important as everything that has come before it. I pour myself like milk. I give myself like a gift. I pour salt in the wound again and again, just to see what happens next—it is never a good thing. It always hurts.

Joanna Acevedo received her BA in Literary Studies from the New School in 2019. She currently studies Fiction at New York University, where she is working on her MFA. Her work has been seen in or is forthcoming in Track Four, Mikrokosmos, Not Very Quiet, and Pangyrus Magazine, among others. She is a Hospitalfield 2020 Interdisciplinary Resident, Goldwater Fellow, Prose Editor at Inklette Magazine and teaches creative writing at NYU.