Author: Mariah O'Brien

Mariah O'Brien is a bad bitch formerly of the east coast and now based in Melbourne. She works on projects with The Newer York and has been published at Metazen, Fuck Fiction, Eunoia Review, BlazeVOX Books, and Aaduna Magazine. She is the author of 4 collaborative ebooks with Megan Lent.

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You are the one.
Solid the spaces lean on, envious.
You are the baby in the barn.
Sylvia Plath

we are a house on fire. we like to write about our love in a way that is away from ourselves. we are the ribbons of smoke that stray from our cigarettes. you are the bruises on my thighs. you are the bite marks on my neck. you are the chest pains. you are the expensive wines. you are the tattoo on my collarbone. we are the empty hallway. we are the people that no one wants to invite to parties. we are each other’s favourite memory. you are my blood soaked dress. you are all encompassing. we are annihilating. we are what keeps them up at night. you are what keeps me up at night. we are sharing the same bed. we are sharing the same touch. you are killing me. this is for you.

still life

It is winter in Australia and it is pretty cold and I am standing in my courtyard breathing cold nighttime air and hot tobacco smoke and my toes are numb and my fingers are too and the scars on my legs are bare as I say fuck you to where I come from and I put out my cigarette on the cruel and shitty world we live in. My husband is standing inside the house and I hear a muffled ‘you alright out there, sweetie?’ from the kitchen and now I know he was watching me face my worst nightmares and shift from a sweet and caring mother to a cold and listless piece of flesh, and accepting it in silence and learned indifference. I remember choking on a ‘sorry’ the night my husband fucked me for the first time. A sorry for my emotional vulnerability and the frequent and sudden numbness and apathy I feel for everyday life, and a sorry for all the bloody gashes on my thighs. He tells me I shouldn’t ever apologize for anything that disturbs me and I’ve learned now that he is right. He has a smug face and a tough outer exterior and I love him more than he will ever know. I’m burning onions and carrots in a shallow pan and laughing because somebody loves me and I am free.