Lit • Athena Thebus
Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out of My Head is a perfect soundtrack for a girl walking down the street with a dog
For a year I lived with a stupidly obedient golden retriever whose only vice was to occasionally get into the trash and eat whatever scraps there were. Always hungry, but ridden with guilt and shame, she would then hide under the table and piss herself (accentuating the guilt and shame).
I’ll take anything
(Take your body to the floor)
I’m lying on your mother’s Persian rug that you laid out on the living room floor, imagining your shadow coming over me
I’m strung out
Taut between longing and withholding
When you laugh, I’m there, I lapse
I’m on all fours, lapping it up, ravenous
For a moment—wild and feral
All my tameness keeps me from gnashing my teeth
To know the tenderness of your flesh
X, in the final undoing of our relationship, labelled me a cowardly dog
It was a heated moment but I wasn’t moved either way—it was an apt, even description
I had gotten into the trash (over and over again)
Loving you deeply, adoring you always
I hadn’t thought about sex in a few days (unusual, perhaps it’s not being connected to the internet), until I sat next to you in the tray of that Toyota ute. It was odd to be wet and swollen in the searing red, dry heat, midday in the arid zone of inland New South Wales.
Being a dog is wanting everything, and for it be handed it to you by moving through the most simple tasks. To sit and stay. To wait.
Half expectant, half surprised when it actually comes through.
I muscled my way to your dorm,
At the kitchen table,
I ripped my favourite drawing out of my sketchbook using the pointed end of a nail and handed it to you. You didn’t even kiss me.
The bravado was half-assed
When I think of anchoring myself, being spiritually and physically steady
I feel a thick stream of piss
Slinking down from my body like heavy lengths of chain
The draining sensation that’s also relieving
Rimbaud notes two ways to die: earthly and of devotion
I’m coming ‘round to the possibility of surrender, of being a sub for once
I’m the one
Love me, love me, love me, love me
Lyrics from the song The One from Kylie Minogue’s tenth studio album titled X, released in 2007
Woke up late—slept in
Walked through Surry Hills post-rain—beautiful
In haste, ate half a box of Corn Flakes
In the morning I missed you but I turned it around
My handwriting is becoming more and more like my mother’s
How do you describe a feeling? Kylie asks at the beginning of the song In My Arms.
I’ve only ever dreamt of this.
In that glimpse of you pressed against a set of bars—I knew how to touch you
I want to be humiliated and for that to be my penance
I want you to be the source of my daily pleasure
Q: How do you take your eyes off a fawn?
A: You can’t, and so you don’t.
‘I can’t wait for you to fuck me,’ you said
I hear it echo in my head and pulse through my pussy and then I see you and your sixty-five roses, and how do you fuck someone who’s only years away from their life expectancy?
Resisting the urge to adore you wholly
‘I want to devour you—with my cunt,’ you said
I think I’ll let you this time
Being a dog is how I want to move through the world
Maybe it is to do with some kind of primal intuition
Though, in all my clumsy honesty, it is to be dumb, and fuck, and still be fed