As if that would make a difference. All these orders, these demands on my body. My tiny moment in time. If I said no I’d get the belt, but I liked the belt even if I didn’t want him to know. I hadn’t always. It used to hurt. Now it made me feel something, made me realize that someone cared about the words in my mouth. But this time I knew he wanted me to do as I was told. So I lifted my shirt, showed him my belly and the place mama said used to connect with her. Like a hose spigot. She said food came into me from her and I asked if like a cheeseburger or milk went in and she said, yes. I imagined my body, the size of a peanut, filling up with mama’s big dinners through that one hose. The same hose nearly killed me as I came out. All wrapped around my neck, my face blue and cold. Mama said I cheated death once, and once was enough. I thought about this while the man I called captain kept on saying, do it, please do it, nobody will ever know. And I thought, who cares if anyone knows, nobody really pays much attention anymore anyhow. Plus, I’m all grown up. I can do whatever I want.

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