Heaven is a Gated Community, 2002

She says, “I’m so mean to you, why do you still take my calls?” He steals the portraits, proudly displays them, and makes up stories to justify his actions. Her twelve-year-old daughter hides in a closet; I can see her sneakers, her infant sister wails from the kitchen, a black and white Picasso of a woman masturbating hangs over the staircase, she doesn’t move for four hours, this is fun. Juliette Lewis stops by for lunch. Her maid makes a crazy face when she turns her back. Her smile is a knife. Her voice is a slow death. The koi in their glass-walled enclosure endure reverberations of regrets. His presence is mythic, his toenails are yellow from fungus, a weekend of nipples and wet travertine tiles. She houses her boy toy in the pool house, I’ve never seen her so in love. His cable knit sweater blankets the mounds of his muscular torso, and as she coos from the divan, her resolve seems as drinkable as milk paint.

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