Kate Durbin







Alexis’ blurred upper body fills 3/4 of the frame. She is wearing a blue low-cut silk dress. Her head is tossed to the side. Her black hair is poofy and a wig. Her skin is porcelain. Her left cheekbone can be viewed, as can her left ear. Something silver is at her throat. To her right is the brass edge of a bedpost and a tiny bit of floral bedspread. Krystle’s face is coming at her. Krystle’s hair is blurry and everywhere. It is thin and grey blonde. Krystle’s arm is creeping up. Her magenta silk shoulder can be viewed. The crease of her cheek can be viewed. The rest of her face is indistinct and looks old.



Alexis sits on a beige sofa. She is leaning far back. Her blue silk dress is ripped at the shoulder. Her tummy fat bulges. Her black wig is mussed. She smiles angrily. Her nose is large; her dark eyes shadowed. She has on faux eyelashes. She is picking up a large crystal vase from a dark wood dressing table. The vase is filled with daisies, baby’s breath, violets and ferns. Her fingernails are press-on and fire engine red. The veins in her hands bulge. Behind her on the wall is a light switch.



Krystle is face down on a chartreuse sofa. She is wearing a silk, long-sleeved magenta pantsuit. It is wrinkled. Her face is in the sofa cushion. Her hair is messy all over. Her legs dangle on the floor. She is covered in broken glass. The sofa is covered in glass also. Flowers dangle upside down on the edge of the sofa. Behind the sofa the stairs to the upper level of the room are covered in something white. It must be feathers.



On the wall is a gilded portrait. It shows two ladies in bustled green velvet dresses carrying parasols. There is a potted plant in the corner. Krystle is crouched near it. Her right arm reaches out all the way to her right. She is almost touching the upper level of the room with it. Her left hand is pushing against the side of the beige couch. Her flat ass is in view. Alexis is at the upper level of the room, which is elevated five feet above the lower level of the room. Her blue skirt flares out. Her left leg is in the air. She is wearing granny flats. She holds onto the wall with both hands.



Alexis and Krystle are lying on the wood floor, locked in an embrace. Alexis’s elbow juts out. Krystle’s right leg is blurry and slung over Alexis. Krystle’s ankles are bent and she is wearing tan pantyhose. She has on black kitten heels. Their hair is spread all over each other. Krystle’s hair is curled like a little girl’s and Alexis’ is a black hole. There is a brass bed behind them with no bedspread. It has a pink dust ruffle. On the floor around them everywhere are feathers. In the foreground is a small round dark wood table with a crystal vase on it filled with yellow daisies and green filler.



Krystle fills most of the frame. She is scrunching her face so her wrinkles show a lot. Her cheekbones are savage. She is wearing pink blush and is tan. Her eyes are squeezed shut. They look black. Her bangs are neat. Magenta silk billows blearily around her. Her hand is a smear and transparent. Blue silk spills in all corners of the frame. It swirls like swimming pool.



Alexis’ face and bust fill the frame. Her cleavage shows. Her blue silk top looks pixely. The wrinkles in her neck are viewable. Her face is whiter than her chest. The edge of a hoop earring can be viewed in her large, curly black wig. Her mouth is wide open. Her teeth are yellow. Her lipstick is peach. Her eyelids droop. This makes her look sad.












Kate Durbin is a Los Angeles-based writer and artist. She is author of The Ravenous Audience (Akashic Books, 2009), and co-author of Abra, forthcoming as an iPad app and artist book with the help of a grant from Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago. She has also written five chapbooks. She is founding editor of Gaga Stigmata, and her tumblr project, Women as Objects, archives the teen girl tumblr aesthetic. Her projects have been anthologized and featured by Poets and Writers, Salon.com, Huffington Post, The New Yorker, Spex, NPR, Hyperallergic,com, poets.org, Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion, Yale’s The American Scholar, The Rumpus, and others. She is the winner of an &Now Innovative Writing Award.

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