Youth and Beauty

Ben Segal

Our neighbors take the bonemeal from the powder of crushed bones.

They mix it with brine and lard and massage it into their faces and the faces of their children.

They are all youthful and they are all beautiful.

The secret is that they know exactly which bones provide the right grist for perfect exfoliation.

I am in love with my neighbor's wife and daughter and son. My adult male neighbor [pater familias] is a hideous hairy pustulating monster man; a large moist wild boar, almost impossible to watch for more than a few seconds.

Obviously he doesn't use the bone-meal paste.

I want to know where it comes from. I want to know the provenance of the bones.

I say, "Neighbor, where do your bones come from?"

Neighbor says:

I shut the window and watch his wife and daughter and son.

They are so youthful and beautiful. I want to kiss them and all those other things.

Look, there is my neighbor, grinding those bones.

Ben Segal is the author of '78 Stories' (No Record Press, 2008). His short fiction has appeared in various publications including Lamination Colony, Kiss Machine, and Elimae. He lives in Philadelphia, co-founded/co-operates Leisure Class Records, and is a founding contributor at Ghost Island.