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from China Cowboy

Was I asleep? La La is sick her belly streak-red infected relieves herself twelve times today. Each time she relieves herself this: she hears synthesized theme music from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and sometimes sees Clint Eastwood poncho-ed and posing in the doorframe of the bathroom. Was I asleep? she asks Clint. With his trigger finger he points to a color in his poncho. Yellow? she asks. He points to it again like it is in the way. Is it yellow? she asks again. He disappears. She continues to relieve herself. The smell of her insides outside. The floor rubber perforated mats like Kai Tak airport. Her insides seep into the holes, smell. When Clint returns La La tells him she knows Ren will kill her but she pretends not to know because it pleases him. He takes his hat off so she can see the look on his face. With his mouth he disapproves his eyes are clearly paternal. She tells him other things she does to please Ren for instance pretending to believe in the centerfold he carries in his wallet and calls his wife Pet. From the look on Clint’s face she knows they are thinking the same thing. She thinks, it is like they are the same person. She thinks, it is like he is my blood father.

About the Author

Kim Gek Lin Short’s work has been published or is forthcoming in No Tell Motel, 42Opus, Drunken Boat, and other places. Her full-length collection, The Bugging Watch & Other Exhibits, is forthcoming from Tarpaulin Sky Press, and her chapbook, The Residents, was released from dancing girl press in late 2008.