@

Christmas stories have pretty morals – things like “Giving is important” or “Family comes first” or “Maybe snoop through your husband’s closet a little to find out what he got you before you up and cut off all your hair” or “If you don’t want the inside of your hotel to be covered in placenta and overrun with shepherds, go ahead and tell that nice pregnant lady that you’re all booked up.” This is a story about Christmas, but its moral is much murkier.

Ms. Pacman

By Nicola Fucigna

Poem

• too-perfect crumbs • adrenaline • the ghosts’
breath upon you • one • wrong turn • its certain
death • • • •  eat • eat • the edible maze • run •
for this • life • pear! • 2,000 points • • gluttony
• • so lucrative • the glam • of it • all • • lipstick
• beauty mark • mask • mascara • unbudging •
• trademark • • pink bow • • even • the unborn
selves • immaculate • • • you and your uneyed
circles • where • • • • have you been? • our love
• three • intermissions • • two • babies • long •
then nothing • but ghosts • pellets • a world • •
with a strange logic • predator now prey • blue
• white • octopine dexterity • treachery • a rumor
of certain •  “patterns” • • “code bugs” • a “kill
screen” • that might • finally • put an end • to •
this all • • rumors • • whispers of a • • • Golden
Age • • • before • X-box • Grand Theft Auto •
Wii • trust me • • I know • • no one cares • any
more • • • death • • • • I have • become • mere •
• tangible nostalgia • prized junk • deaths • • • •
• minimized • by quarters • • alcohol • subtle •
wrists • too-perfect crumbs • adrenaline • ghosts’
breath upon you • wrong turn • your costumed •
twin • tries • to cannibalize you • an apocalypse
• in miniature • • catastrophe of relationship • •
• existential • living • no purpose no • working
exit • • I live hand • and I don’t • even • have •
a hand • to mouth • same • • screen • • different
screen • pink • orange • screens • it makes me •
want • to scream • appear to dis • appear • head
fake • apple! • 100 points • this existence • • • •
intolerable • so why • play? • why • • so many •
lives? • why • does money • • • prolong the fast
monotony? • • she is • • a Sisyphus • • gliding •
through • 2-D space • • too-perfect • • too-small
• • too-many • boulders • strewn • everywhere •
• edible • she eats • • • • • • • keeps her figure • •
how does • she  do it? • the eyes • scuttle back •
• • • to the Panopticon • at the center • fashion •
• a body • an unending • desire • to chase • • • •
• after • the specter • of a heart • its • circlings •