A list of things you miss. A touch with the lips. The knock-you-on-your-ass touch, the kind that starts in the lower extremity of the leg below the ankle, as he moves closer to you, the kind where he waits for you to wrap your ammunition around him and then he pulls you in and you press with your lips pursed and slightly parted, like an immature form of animal or insect which undergoes some metamorphosis on this fucked earth, together with all of its countries, peoples and natural features which hide in our internal organs, a pear-shaped enlargement of the alimentary canal linking the esophagus to the small intestine, insects waiting in their little silky cases spun by larvae for protection, waiting for the true combination of high polymer qualities such as shape, color or form, those that please the aesthetic senses, especially sight.

A list of things you miss. Kiss so the insects with two pairs of large wings covered in tiny scales, usually brightly coloured, typically held erect when at rest, and the nocturnal insects (pocket of dust) related to butterflies could spread their number of specialized paired appendages that enable them to fly, in particular: outwards and upwards and out, out of the opening in the lower part of the human face, the tunnel surrounded by the lips, left dust and spines of insect foot in the wet membrane home through which food is taken in and from which speech and other sounds are emitted.

A list of things you miss. The kind of touch with lips that wait until 2AM, after I was gone for each of the twelve named periods into which the Gregorian year is divided, after I was gone for thirteen rotations of earth’s satellite mother. The kind of touch that waited at the lowest part or point of the grief container, typically made of glass or plastic and with a narrow neck, used for storing booze, before it had the strength in the face of pain or grief to crawl up out of its trash hole and hit me on the face, breaking the orbital, surface of the thing, what is a fracture on the socket of the eye? Especially the touch that was presented to his view, in particular, the touch on the lips slightly parted with teeth showing, which cradles the upper part of the human body, or the front-or-upper part of the body of the animal, typically separated from the rest of the body by a neck, that which contains the brain, mouth, and sense organs in between its palms, fingers, and thumbs, he waits for me to cry, the touch on the lips slightly parted with teeth showing and a tongue that pushes through the mouth that tastes drops of salt liquid secreted from glands in the eye when they cry or when the eye is irritated and he tells me it’s going to be okay.

A list of things you miss. The touch on the lips slightly parted with teeth showing and a tongue that pushes through the mouth to touch another’s tongue, the touch that doesn’t happen anymore is the one that says “I’m here you’re here and we’re alive” after a near miss; internal combustion engine unfortunate incident, one which happened unexpectedly and unintentionally, resulted in damage or injury, left black polymeric substance made from latex on the mixture of dark pitch with sand or gravel, used for surfacing roads, scraping skin, flooring, roof of mouth, etc; this accident which left a strengthened band of metal fitted around the rim of wheels screaming louder than the invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth, a mixture mainly of oxygen and nitrogen, hefting in and out of the pair of organs studded within my rib cage, elastic sacs with branching passages into which air is drawn, squealing like a hard-boiled egg or some skinned sausage bursting with juice, so oxygen can pass into the blood uncollapsed and carbon dioxide can be removed.

Elle Nash is the author of the novel Animals Eat Each Other (Dzanc Books, 2018), and the chapbooks AVOKA (Ghost City Press, 2017). She is a founding editor at Witch Craft Magazine, a fiction editor at Hobart Pulp, and lives in the Ozarks with her husband and their dog.