Leslie Scalapino


from Dahlia’s Iris—Secret Autobiography and Fiction

Chloe's Turtle

Cloe’s amused, kicking garbage from her ankles, wading in it. Running. After falling from the motorbike, her sides are bruised and panting. The sides pant held still.
        The girls are sold to brothels with no escape, beaten, raped cave in — or rebel until their deaths. The police collaborate to profit.
        A lynx, her eyes large. Even running, she’s amused that Esau de Light was named by someone else, named for someone else’s event, something they saw before him? It commemorates.
        They did something. She laughs. Her sides bleeding.
        She’s scraped on her arms and legs and on the side where her clothes are torn away, the skin shining, from her skimming on the street-side of the glancing bike — her seeing Esau de Light parting from his bike in the air.
        Robed women are being beaten to one side on the street. Our military cements over the desert. It kills everyone by dropping daisy- cutters which shred them, and sets up hot-dog stands.
        Drill oil there, shooting from holes in the cement. The military (separate from us) siphon their people’s resources, control the people, beat them, and put in power those who beat them before.
        Then it’s no longer seen.
        There isn’t a relation to our war and those who put the girls in brothels and enforce their slavery — there isn’t a relation
        it’ll keep introducing until the two, that which was introduced and that which is there before go on
        People have tried that, not returning, that the content doesn’t come back, is brief. This is just ‘that it goes.’ Go on
        Cloe is not cynical at all, amused because she’s young, is bruised everywhere
        and a big turtle comes up bursting the light at a market
        it comes up breaking the surface and then comes at the sides, of a big tank made out of glass that’s in public
        a holding tank for people’s amusement. It’s butting looking out
        it’s an amber turtle with large eyes. The people are all small here. They imprison and beat everyone
        the turtle butts the tank, looks out. The market bustles.
        Cloe breaks the glass, and takes the turtle home. People come running but she’s a policewoman, she’s wearing a uniform
        it’s under arrest, she says, hustling it away. But it walks slow
        she names it Hazel while it’s walking
        it swam up to the one spot where she could find it.