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Fiction by Kat Giordano

Bloodletting on E. 43rd Street

i don’t think i’ll ever stop writing that story of us at the party. you know. the one where i kick my boots off in the mudroom off your kitchen and walk in with a gaping hole in my chest. it’s silent, like a dream, like a TV show where the extras don’t speak and just mouth words. the crowd parts around me, everyone staring—not just because of the hole, which i am trying and failing to cover with my hands, but some deep-rooted sense that the main character of the scene has finally shown up. i’m dizzy and looking for you. blood is seeping between my fingers, dripping onto the floor, and i’m looking for you. can you come downstairs? are you up there piling coats on the bed? i need you to see this blood trail and make that joke you once made when i spilled the wine. this time, i’ll be ready for it. i’ll laugh and laugh. it’s real this time. i need you. more than the party needs you, than the coats need you, than the bed needs you. it’s eating me up inside. i feel the party talking about me even in the silence. they gesture with their eyes, so superior. who cares what they think? this is our moment. you know. the scene in the movie where they say the name of the movie. you’re missing it. right now you should have descended the stairs and been so shocked at the sight of me you stumbled and knocked down the suit of armor on the landing. but the stairs are clear and the suit of armor is piled on the bed, weighing the coats down. and where are you? blood is trickling down my shirt. can you come downstairs? can you say your line? the one where your voice quakes at the end and i open my hands and my wound gushes onto my shoes? remember this part? stepping over the fallen armor as i slide my fingertips over the hole, smear them with blood. it’s casual. that’s the genius of it. i stick my fingers in your mouth and you taste my pain and you’re crying, you take it so well, i scoop more of the pain from the hole into your mouth and then i taste some, too. i was ready this time. but you never showed up. you were supposed to taste this with me. you were supposed to feel it. we were supposed to hold each other. this isn’t the way i wrote it down and everyone’s watching. i feel them judging me with their eyes. i scan the faces for someone i can trust to ask where you went, why you’re still up there, why you never looked for me, but it’s getting dark and i’m losing a lot of blood—

Kat Giordano

Twitter: @giordkat
IG: @giordkat

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