Author : Lindsay Haber

The bed swallows her lovers.

They are all the same, the type of men who can’t commit, the type of men who only want those who don’t want them back, the type who leave during the night, after sex, the moment something real is said, leave when they get scared.

They follow her up the marble staircase. They smile as they enter her studio, transfixed by the smell of lavender and cigarettes, by the eyes that never quite focus, in awe of how she dismisses their words. They have found a woman who excites, one they can’t predict, a longing they weren’t sure existed.

They comment on the different-sized dream catchers, the bamboo blinds, the half-burned incense, the tapestry of dancing elephants. They comment on her beautiful hair, her lithe little body, the shamrock tattoo on her left wrist, her burning green eyes.

She laughs, throws her head back, a deep, guttural sound straight from her abdomen. She kisses them to shut them up. She kisses them because she knows her bed will eat them soon. Talking takes too much time and makes things more difficult.

It wasn’t always this way. She used to be the one full of desperate hope. She used to look at the men like they held answers, like they were worthy of her secrets. She used to let them break her.

But then, on the night of the winter solstice, on the night she realized her strength, as one of them was sliding socks over bare feet, trying to dress without noise though her eyes were fully open, she stood and watched as the bed folded in on her lover. The head sunk first, then the neck with the braided gold chain, then the chest coated in curly black hairs, then the pelvis, the ashy knees. The feet were last to be consumed by the quicksand of her sheets.

Now it happens every time. The men, they come expecting things, thirsting for change, seeking all they can’t be.

And the girl, she knows what’s coming. She doesn’t bother with childhood stories, warm embraces outside the bar. She gets what she wants, then stands facing the mirror, watching, as her bed devours them whole.