Fantasy There are two paths the body weaves through the world. The silting rain of action, a hand soft on the living arm of a friend, a diploma, a beetle crushed under careless foot— this one leaves tracks. Evidence lives in the minds of others. So say our institutions, our courts, our public opinions, even our instincts. And still another world rides along soft inside our bodies. Shapes every step and touch with breath of stardust. Leaves no trace. You could not find it if you knew the place to search. But nothing is so real to me as the silver smear of daydream, the opal moment upon waking that glows with the kind eyes and strong arms of someone who will never love me. How I lace it up around my heart like my boots, ready to help carry my weary feet along.
I Do Not Want To Work Hard For Love I have had enough of you, your hustle and grind. I will not plug your attributes into a spreadsheet, so don’t do it to mine. If I am all dumb animal body yet to forgive is divine, then stop asking me to bless your sins until the end of earthly patience. I want neither your tolerance nor your transformation. Stop giving me homework. I will not upgrade my drugstore lipstick just to leave your skin flawless for your next post. Your healthy communication skills are just the world’s way of making us tell on ourselves. Must I stop being so negative? Fine, then. Here is what I want: Show up grimy. Wallow in the mud with me. Be silent for days. Lie to protect your soft spots—I promise you, I’ll do it too. Sleep with a stranger. Don’t use a condom. Ignore your body hair, your underdeveloped skill sets, your absent skincare routine, your paltry paychecks. Gallop away into the deep woods. Transform to no purpose. Burn your resume. Burn your heirlooms. Live with the regret. Peer over the edge of the cliff. Step back to solid ground. Tell no one about it. Least of all me. Don’t worry about the RSVP you never mailed. Just show up. Bring your body with you, or leave it, as you please. Just tell me you made it. Tell me you’re here.
Beeper Peddle is a writer and healer living on the East Coast. She lives with her partner and their beloved soul puppy. Beeper writes about sorrows, lies, and deep loves. When you read her work, you will dip down into her heart and end up in all manner of body parts. Should you find yourself reflected in these words, it is merely coincidence; however, it does not surprise her you share the same heart. Find her at bethpeddle.com and @beeperpeddle on Twitter and Instagram
Ella Latham (she/her) is a writer from South Carolina. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in SoFloPoJo and The Peauxdunque Review, where it was selected as the creative nonfiction category winner of the 2021 Words and Music Writing Competition and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives and works in the North Carolina mountains.