Sarah Hulyk Maxwell ::

Don’t look at me—mine is a shy face: unhinged and unshaven.

 

I.

In the bathtub, my jaw falls off of my face into the already bloody water with a plop. I almost touch the part where the chin should be above my neck but I cannot bring myself to feel air where my body should be. My remaining teeth are falling out because a new set has come in, sharp, jagged. I want to cry out for help but I make only a loud noise that proclaims a wounded humiliation, and instead, I watch my jaw circle the drain, too large to make it down the pipe.

 

II.

My cheeks are the consistency of wet toilet paper, peeling off in chunks, until it seems as if bloody gills are sliced on the side of my face, close to my ears, and yet, I still cannot breathe underwater.

 

III.

A peculiar green peg, hard like plastic, no, like celery, has slid from my face. There are several of these stalks beneath my skin—I see them, tinged green circles, more popping up as I run my fingers over forehead, searching. A crack rips across the left side of my face, from my lips to my ear, and I peel back a thin flake of skin to realize my face is made of sliced green onions, and when I open my mouth in shock, dirt slips to the floor, and I am catching it with my hands, trying to feed it back into myself.