(SAINTS + Saints)
Jaclyn Dwyer


In eighth grade, I stopped eating lunch. In high school I stopped eating breakfast. I was becoming an aesthete. I was becoming a saint. I fasted. Faster and fastest.
Between the stalls, crouched between the metal façade of a wall, I cut myself. I told my teacher, "This is the stigmata." She sent me to the nurse. She sent me to the counselor. She sent me to the principal. He sent me home.
Blake became number 75, suited in royal blue, covered in pads and capped with a helmet. Baby fat on his cheeks and a belly like Buddha. I became 3rd in my class and never crossed the hundred-pound line.
Blake let girls mount him, climb him like Everest. I kept my white skin out of sight, bundled and buried beneath cotton and denim.
Blake got herpes. Blake got drunk at parties. I got drunk at a party with Blake. I wore his helmet the whole time. It was too big. I became a bobblehead. He could not see my face. I could not see the sores on his prick.


Herpetologists do not study herpes.
I thought I had herpes so I called my doctor. He made me get into stirrups. He said, "That is just a pimple." I asked if I could pop it and he said no. I fingered my asshole every day for nearly a week until one morning when I went to finger my pimple, it wasn't there to finger.
I Googled "PARIS HILTON VALTREX" and downloaded a copy of her prescription. I printed it out. I dyed my hair blonde. I could be her body double. I could be Barbie if I had breasts.
I weighed in every day. Blake weighed in twice a day. Shrink coaches ran Blake across the campus, up stadium seats, beyond the end zone. I ran from the shrinks who tried to capture my madness and fold my fantasies into origami ostriches. Birds without flight.


When I was nineteen, I wore my First Communion dress, a stunted bridal gown, to class at Saint Someone University. My lab partner greeted me with a hug. He said, "You're not wearing a bra." I said, "I'm a fashion model. Undergarments blemish the skin and tarnish the look."
I could see bones that I didn't know the name for. I looked them up in my anatomy textbook. I could see bones in my body that had no names.


I became a series of lines, squares, triangles, a dodecaquadrahedron. Blake became a Post-Katrina SAINT. He was beached whale on a rented bed, floating in a sea of white feathers and sheets.
I saw him only once, clad in funereal black and garish gold, a fleur de lys painted on his head. I watched as he was pummeled into the ground again and again, and I knew he had no memory of me. He had no memory of anything. No memory of memory, after an attack like that.