Jesi Bender is an artist from Upstate New York. She is the author of the play Kinderkrankenhaus (Sagging Meniscus) and the novel The Book of the Last Word (Whiskey Tit). Her shorter work has appeared in Fence, Split Lip, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, among other places. www.jesibender.com
THE BEACH & THE SEA
The way he says airplane—arrow-plain—brief synesthesia. These are the things we do. Obsessed and devastated with this life and letters, their hybrid meanings. Lay down, pulled back sheets. Strange currents felt like sand pulled from the water. Little girl, look up. The things we do for a father’s affection. At the shore, salt in the back of your nose that transcends both taste and smell. The warm hazed lighting like the filter they use on aging television stars, kinda cross-eyed, light-white, grey & blue, sand, sand–ubiquitous sand, little girls in their bathing suits that cling to the bellies they don’t notice yet, their hair starched and matted, disorienting heat, burnt feet, the smell of coconut and grain alcohol. Leaning back, I squint to watch the distant bodies work down the shoreline. Affixing the meta-prefix to every noun that crosses your path is like the sound when you first put the needle on a record–the soft, static pop covering silence with a fuzz. These are the things we do. All my love has been so closely tied to the things I hate. Whenever–the burning growl of an engine, kernels of salt on my fingers, wind whipped against my skin—I protest, I wrap my lips around “Dad-eee”.