The Lyme Letters is epistolary verse that spells out a memoir. R, a non-binary femme character, narrates their experience of disease and recovery through recurrent letters to doctors, pets, family members, lovers, and a “Master.” R, in letter form and repurposed religious texts, also explores the paradoxical experiences of queer non-reproductivity, chronic illness and disability, and the healing that can be found in the liminal spaces between.
Coming this fall, The Lyme Letters is available for pre-order today! Check out this excerpt to get a glimpse into the world of R.
My Dearest Family Members, Blood Co-op & Never-Ending
from “Lyme: Hand-Held”
The forest turns one muddy color of greenish brown & knees slam the bottom debris. Fingers scratch the skin surface & up again. The chant a ticka, ticka, ticka, ticka. Naked feet splashing shower floors. Naked bodies, suited bodies, and bulges between bikini bits. Squishy pall of entering the wrong room & a dizzying rubbing, slapping feet & wrong-watered floor: fish slipping into swamp instead of pond. Bruised sharp & bleeding fingers stop at the rub-gasp: His gaze to her and out she splashes, trying to name it. Cement picnic tables wait for her. She eats toast & her fingers still bleed with the taste of sharp & the same, a cut tongue as morphing joint & fingers rubbing the belly she dreams again of the bulges, finds a little black one as her own, a shiny black poppyseed gorging itself until it pops, popping seed where pale & naked she steps into the shower. Girls scratching & chanting & pulling at their suited skin say it: ticka, ticka, ticka, ticka. Rapt, dry, dripping she stands, shirt pulled high & dizzying the knuckling fingers, she craves who bends to pull it out. Phonemes & a current & copper in the nose. The pond rises to knees, ghoul that is inverted kneecaps. A dream about poppy seeds sticking between teeth but here it is, only a gritting where one more pull & out it pops: red dot, no halos, and something cold.