You will never know why he picked this day to sever your spinal cord and then you aren’t in any position to ask, either. He is still holding that scalpel and you have so many fragile tendons. ACL, Achilles.

He: that grand giver of coke and gum, the only boy who ever gave you head in a movie theater. All of a sudden: changed. And you’re just laying there all flayed open messy like he did a thousand triple axels over your vertebrae.

He came in today saying: Tick tock! My bio-whatsit is acting up and everything now is going to be different. Men aren’t supposed to get that but still you watch him throw things around the room, pitching clothes and bath towels and his tuxedo to your bed, your beautiful bed, until it’s nothing anymore, it’s this amorphous cotton space and he is a sea creature pooling ink around himself, hoping you’ll lose track of his spiral motion. It’s just—he says, so patient and gracious—we’re all kind of on a schedule here.

Your sugar babe and all the other squid are having a tentacle party and no bi-legged beasts are invited!

Not even if I pack my own snacks? you ask, showing him your Lone Ranger lunchbox stuffed with cheese and grapes. There was this day last week when you realized you should be keeping it stocked at all times, like a pregnancy suitcase, so that if you have to leave suddenly there is at least the illusion of grace.

No two-leggers! he says again, smashing your meal with three hands.

You used to be a surgeon! you shout back, and with all those appendages he wraps around you, putting his full weight into it for the first time in god you don’t know, and you have missed him so much there’s a flurry of joy before the panic.