Eye, Aye, I

Prickly Chairs – photograph by Royston Hunt

Eye, Aye, I

She relishes this, the two of them together. Outside. Plants and water.

He hands her salt, tequila, wedge of lime. Instructs her. She follows.

‘It’s kinda neat,’ she says, ‘having cactuses inside us, and cactuses around us.’

He snorts. ‘Tequila’s made from Agave. It’s a succulent, not a cactus. And the plural is cacti. Cack-tie. Eye. Eye.

She takes a slosh of tequila, no salt, no lime. ‘Aye, aye,’ cap’n.’

‘This isn’t going to work.’ He gets up, leaves his red chair empty.

She stands to follow him, anyway.

Something makes her pause.

Maybe it’s drinking spirits in the day time, but she can hear the cactuses speaking.

Can’t stand a pedant.

We’re all succulents, we’re all sisters.

Better off without him.

She’s one of us.

And all the prickles she’s kept inside, all the sharp retorts she’s ever swallowed down, push out like needles through her fleshy, green skin.


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