Skintight Mask

Danielle Keller

It was 2005, tornadic, and we were in a bedroom,
in the house near the road and treelines, down
upon the grassy Earth, far below the luminous
gray firmament. I was a cruel and privileged
girl, not yet able to spell words, embarrassingly
circumspect and yet bad at hiding secrets.

      I was eating one of them microwave corndogs, watching one of them Krypt mini-documentary videos with mom—on one of them small optical discs in that Gamecube connected to that TV—when it said Mortal Kombat’s “gruesome graphic effects … helped to create a phenomenon that took arcades by storm.”
      I asked mom what that meant. She said that meant it was like a real popular thing. I looked down at that microwaved corndog, at my dirty fingernails peeling back its porous, oily breading.

      I remembered a few days ago in that bedroom with dad (I didn’t like to be alone; I was accomodated thoroughly) I was watching one of them Krypt mini-documentary videos when that actor (of that character Baraka) described that mask—with grocery store nails spraypainted silver as them sharp teeth—as skintight.
      I was eating one of them microwave corndogs. I stared down at them moist specks of reheated fried batter stuck to that bare dermal pinkmeat (I only ate that breading, a picky and wasteful eater, refusing meat) apparently conspicuously enough to make dad tell me I knew I got that when I didn’t wash myself good enough, then laugh at my apparent confusion.

I shouldn't have thought so much of that.
It was a pristine overcast spring day and
I didn't understand any of this but he thought
I was feigning and embarrassed because
he didn't realize that I had phimosis.