from The Dottery
They keep them there from me. The burly one, at the door—she said I didn't have the papers. But I had the papers. She said I didn't look the type. I looked the type. She asked me how long I'd trained. I gave her my credits. The seven-page resume with all the triggers. I cited my affair with the mayor. I complimented her fillings. She looked at me rhetorically. She said—well, you can't come in. Then she said I could, but I couldn’t take, not one, not even on loan. This is a library, cooed the inner warden, that prides itself on suspicion of the literate. That I knew what to do with one: the very logic for my denial. They stamped me UNFITTED. Like ghost— sullen, sheeted.
* * *
When you bellylow a dotter, she does not drive herself out into the forest with torches, or seal her preserves. She stares blinkless like a dolly. The unblinking kind. Bellylows were meant, I know, to bring on the gloaming—but a dotter resists betweens, being one. Yes. She has long been a fellow since you saw your father's own and drummed up a replacement. This is night and day, not the other two. Still, you croon and she grows rigid. You corpse-cradle her. How comforting to hold something that does not wriggle or pivot. Something that fixes itself for hurdy-gurdying. As if neutered. She does this not only not-to-dream, but in feckless imitation of a beloved.
* * *
Dotters con you in mystical grift. You came from the dottery, to the dottery you will return. Egged on, spoonfed. Once oh once oh, you sing, I was a dotter. True. Like buckwheat is true, like twinkie. In Candida I renounced them. I resigned from dot, daught, doubt, debt—from all monies. I became an excommunique. A click. The sterile guns fired. The bulletin board read: She is a Gift—Only Eighteen Installments. The car feigned sleep on the overpass so as to lose the heist. I never re-entered my passwords. I never saw any need.
* * *
Entering the dottery, slipped: a threshold creased with lard. From your ass, the dotters lining the walls looked less like cringing. So many unached fors. Aborted ones of porcelain. Daffodillings. Tin-roofed and footed ones and straw others and ones of brickshit. If, if, if… I had a square ass. A grandmother quipped through the building. Engine. Dotters do not want chosen. They want ungotten, dropped into batter for later expansion—to be needful, doubled in earnest. But from ass-on-threshold, the dottery seemed not rhapsodic, rather a school with room for the willing. All the dotters could poltergeist. They were all too fourteen. You might have asked them to cohabit. Offered a lavender glove. But to be getting any from here was unwholesome—though not completely unlike twisting a skull from between your own legs. Ah. Blood brown. Fine. Fetal.