A Place For Prose:
Tamara Nazywalskyj

Two prose pieces by Tamara Nazywalskyj

You and Me are

Blazing feet see the fire, organs lowplay my sad song. Touch my raspberry it’s pincement au coeur and started back where I started. I swell, I said, I drip down the street and you is in all thoughts. Drained, I said, I joined the circus to forget you: here you are on paper. Needle threading in darkthoughts, you can’t see around this throat of mine where you used to walking.


  *   *   *   *   *

fell deep into my bed

I would never want to say that I am depressed. I wouldn’t want anyone to ever believe that I am stuck or immobile. Except, I do think that I am flattened. Out of air, is maybe a better descriptor. Taking in smoked versions of myself I take the reefer to my mouth & flatten even further. This time it doesn’t feel like such a big deal. Legs are so sprawled they touch both sides of the bed – I’m basically wide-open. The teeth are touching now – all of them – yet I am still lying. Didn’t go to class today because I’m pressed so hard I can’t ever bother to move again. Sometimes I feel heavier than guilt. Something like tiles over an uneven floor: don’t tiptoe here. My knuckles crack or I go & crack them like they’re a time & a place & like it makes a difference. Does crying mean you hate yourself & where is God at this point in my life? Is He sad too? Is that why He doesn’t want to talk to me? I cleaned my ears two days ago. I roll onto my stomach & pluck the underwear from my butt. Does God see that? Does He see me grow in & out of my face every single day? Does He see my red-oeil, ma joie de vivre outside the window endlessly at my fingertips but never in my palms? I scream into my pillow but actually there is no bruit. My toes are frozen dry then the blood pools out around me – there I go again ruining sheets. It feels like my throat is slit & I have so much to say to Him but I was never taught the language. I try to talk real doux to get what I want but I just get a gram & I put it in my honey pot with the rest of my Tuesdays & wonder if I’ll ever more away from this moment. I start by getting up: my breasts are swollen & my knees ache because even though I only fell down the stairs once yesterday It’s on loop & someone else is laughing. I scrape my skin from the bed – first with a spatula, then with a knife. No one can ever smell that I was here. My period sits big & tall in the middle of the sheets; a real Japanese flag. & that’s not political as much as it is imagistic. I throw them into a ball I’m so tight in my chest I don’t even realize how rouge my lips are. I’ve been biting so hard I pick the shards of tongue off my teeth & manage to ask, “Why would someone like Him love me?” I’m home alone & I hear the neighbors talking louder than God I hear my boyfriend sometimes chew louder from the living room I hear my mother’s guilt she lathered me in as a child resurface I hear an old conversation louder. I hear my stomach gurgle in known anger because eating weed makes you so hungry your mouth in the only place you want to worship. I can’t tell if this is me or me in November when me crooked. Air so dry the soifness dries me out to hang. I’m so stiff. & Where is God now? I said hi. Should I think of our talks as emails to a busy person? I need someone in my bed. Someone to hug me crippled so I can come back to life. There’s no way to know for sure if that will help me but I need help. I drink a whole bottle of water & weigh myself I think I’m into self-loathing. Is that what the Lord wants? November is full of gonzesses on a power trip for reclamation jeans white leather black & cigarettes; tote bags on totally does it sound like a generation? Maybe God doesn’t want to talk to my generation. Like an old lady at the window watching high schoolers jaunt by she’s muttering at their every move “Oh! I have seen it all now! I. Have. Seen. It. All.” So every two days I clean my ears & I wait & I listen to hear his words & hopefully they’ll change me. I am waiting for my “Here I am.”

Feature image: Andrew Burlone
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Read also: Pause for poetry: Tamara Nazywalskyj


Tamara Nazywalskyj is a Verdun, Montréal woman who works summers in construction, and winters in childcare in intercity schools. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from Concordia University, where she is also earning her MA. Tamara’s anglo-franco writing has been featured in not one, but two issues of Montreal Serai, and in James Lyng’s, Lives of The South-West gallery. Catch more of her on Instagram @tammram.

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