original art by randee crudo paired with the short story it inspired by alisha mascarenhas
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mascarenhas' full text:
"We moved here to contain the quiet pleasures of our bodies. To thrust our tongues into soft fruit and fall into sleep. To take showers and pretend like everything wasn’t oozing and sinking around us.
Then the floors fell through. We clutched to the solidity of the doorframe, not each other, and waited.
Nothing moved quickly when you were around; it all washed away in sensation. Oil and prisms over the kitchen sink. I had never known anyone to moan and shudder like you, absorbing every sound. You took my head in your hands and said, Look. This was the window most alive in our mute apartment: a portal to gasoline leaks of desire that corrode the mind.
I brought you here because I was terrified of what seeped into you. I wanted to hold you someplace safe. Still, all we heard was the unfolding of chemical waste pouring down pipes beneath sidewalks. It was precisely the opposite of what we anticipated.
At the bathroom mirror you peeled contact lenses from dry eyes as seams between the floor and wall split. I promised not to let you dissolve."