My Early Attempt at Cubism
Paper news. Read all about it. Penis on local school yard playground. Signs of pedophilia riles community. Phallic graffiti signifies symbolic shift in sexuality. It’ll be the death of our youth.
Me. My dad used to push me on the swing there. I might’ve imagined it. I used to play there with the black boy until it wasn’t safe anymore. New friends came. We were okay there without parents. I have a scar from jumping off the swing set.
TV Reporter. Why is all this directed to children?
Me. I used to bend in free-kicks from outside the park. Pretending to score like Beckham. Beckham left England for Madrid. I left the village for London. From then on I’d only visit the park to see Dad on school breaks.
The playground’s penis loosely resembles an actual penis. Too big. Drawn with waterproof paint in lines. The slit was squirting. Three veins that looked like rivers. Maybe bridges. The penis squirted into nothing. The veins led nowhere.
Me. We would hide tin-canned beer in sport bags and take them to the park. We’d drink pretending we liked it. Brittany vomited. I also smoked weed for the first time sitting still on the swing set. I let smoke spill from my mouth. I imagined a train’s chimney. The sound of whistling. I don’t think it was there. Maybe just the wind and smoke.
Paper news. Council left fund-less to fight penis drawing. Threaten to close the park until further notice. Where will the children play?
Me. Brittany and I fuck for the first time beneath the slide. It’s winter break. I keep my trousers at my knees. I feel the gooseflesh on her legs brushing against the pads of my forefingers. Everything’s cold. Her jacket is zipped to the chin. I want to cry into her, have her hold me. I am pinned in her by the slide and her legs. We take turns having our necks rub against the steel. Her face remains the same throughout, stone-bored and indifferent to the coldness of me and the slide and everything between. I finish and nothing happens. I am somewhat relieved whilst she remains the same.
Mum. That place is nowhere for a child to grow up in.
Me. I spend the summer break studying art in Hampstead. I don’t see Dad until winter. I want to tell him everything that’s happened until that point. I can’t do it. He doesn’t like art. We have nothing to talk about. On the last day of winter break I visit the park. I paint a penis like Picasso would. I am proud. It isn’t mine. No one will know. I leave to London.
Paper news. Park reopens as penis disappears. Children welcome.
About the author:
Nicholas Finch is the assistant editor of the Neon literary journal. He was raised in England before moving to Florida. The writers that have had the most influence on his work include Ernest Hemingway, John Keats, Akiko Yosano, Ben Lerner, Rudy Wilson, Raymond Carver and Edward Dorn. Finch's work is published or forthcoming in Haiku Journal, Catfish Creek, Pioneer Town, Wyvern Lit and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @nicholasAfinch.