‘SAINT’ by Eva Ferry

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I know a woman whom others regard as a saint without her having to make any effort for this to be the case. Let me clarify something: she does make efforts, in the same way as we all do. She never swears or speeds up with the car, volunteers at a food bank on Saturday mornings, and, if you ask, she will always have a minute for you. Nothing extraordinary, you might think – but enough to earn her sainthood. “She is a gift to us all,” people say with reverence whenever her name is mentioned. And, when she offers or agrees to help and encloses one of her half-smiles with her offer, people’s faces transform: gaze humble, smile incredulous as they realize it’s their long-awaited turn to be at the receiving end of one of her effortless miracles.

She intrigued me, so I observed her. After three months, I unraveled her secret. Before she opens her mouth to say yes, the slightest sense of inconvenience gleams in her black eyes, an ever-so-slight crack ascending along her forehead, minute wrinkles taking over the tanned flesh around her mouth. What she’s about to do for us, we sense, inconveniences her just by the right amount – enough that it’s a sacrifice, because of a saint we always expect sacrifices, but not so much that negates the joy she takes in serving others. Because of a saint we expect this kind of joy too. Only of a saint.

The discovery has taken away the mystery, and with the mystery went some admiration. Tthis gives me some unease – because she is a fine human being and makes other people’s lives better. She is not to be faulted for how others interpret her facial expressions.

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‘Stained in Vain: An Exposé / Interview with Sean Kilpatrick’ by Natalie Lugo

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Sean Kilpatrick just did another screenplay poem. No one cares. Me neither. Full disclosure: we had a regular but noncommittal affair awhile back. He is full of screeds against the challenges inherent in playing anyone for keeps. Against couples who are “ping ponged by pieties of dedication”. Before the dates in question, he was never legally abusive, so help me God. Not that I wouldn’t claim his scraps before the parish in hopes of eradicating even the most infinitesimal compunction of his rascally kind just because that sentiment is popular…

Sean Kilpatrick (interrupting): Apologies first and foremost, of course. We improvised a few intrusions, for which you are owed a pair of nylon stockings. No remedy, yet, to end the slight, fluctuating iron deficiency caused by the no longer scarfed and moderately spoiled cycle tripling in outpour since I abandoned you to spend platonic solitude on a glove?

Natalie Lugo: I have registered the cracks in your ceiling for a serviceable eon, tallying each vile ideation and adolescent sexual dotage, yes. Thank god we’re not us anymore. Are you one-hundred percent resentment because you suffer runny bowels?

SK: This is the most vital question a writer must be asked. I prefer it asked of me daily. Not to pretend my movements are that regular. If the process doesn’t bind your innards, the verse has misfired. Aside from the handicap of your attractiveness, I salute you for being young, acclimated, and above memoir writing.

NL: As someone whose sole focus is revenge, do you like being on the other cultural end of it right as you finally taught yourself how to compose, somewhat, after fourteen years of averaging one publication per month in small-to-less-small literary sites and mags?

SK: Well, I wanna ride off into the sunset with every condom I ever used. How do you walk off a sunset, girl? Glare in a mirror?

NL: What’s your book about!?

SK: Leaving necklaces on while you fuck.

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