“After the relationship there is the Dissection” by Anita Goveas


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  1. The Abdomen

The scar itself is not the issue. Medicine is a wonder, this is not a list of the joys a surgeon’s knife can bring.

But to revel in it, to take pride in it, to continue to wear bikinis. What can be done with someone without a proper sense of shame?

2. The Eyebrows

In themselves, an important part of a specimen toolkit. Not as essential as eyelashes, more significant than eyes (those can be easily changed).

But to leave them, to allow them to creep across the face unchecked, to have no boundaries. That suggests a laziness that can only bode ill.

3. The Fingernails

Properly arranged, a fingernail is an asset. They can match or contrast, flatter or highlight. They can be waved in a face to draw attention, in a gentle way.

But to ignore them completely, to be content in their nakedness, to leave traces of pottery clay underneath is a waste of a natural resource. Who knows where that carelessness could lead?

4. The Bottom

Often celebrated in literature as demonstrated by its innumerable pet names. Apple, feeder, rock. Base Unit. Ranging in size from comfortably numb to cushion-y soft. If it’s round and firm, and can be compared to some kind of fruit, it can even take the lead.

But to wear outfits without considering its construction, to never think of its impact, to treat it as a body part implies a lack of organisation.

5. The Brain

Too much in it.



Anita Goveas is British-Asian, based in London, and fueled by strong coffee and paneer jalfrezi. She was first published in the 2016 London Short Story Prize anthology, most recently in Noble/Gas Qrtly, Flashback Fiction, Mojave Heart Review, The Brown Orient and formercactus.




Trifling with your inadequacy

Your imagined idiocy

Satan speaking in your eye as his spit quenches yet stings your ice speckled blue eyes

Telling you dear, “You’re quite unfit.”

Splintering into the dollhouse that rivets and bends at the sound of your step

You are as cold as a witch’s tit by the 8th degree

To be peered up at closely as your buggered legs quiver at the touch of a child’s gentle curiosity

You think you are something because you have a self-coordinated name

Tripping over your indecisiveness, skipping to the next song, then skipping again

Tryin’ to drown it out, turning up the volume, and lulling your head like a rocking bassinet

Are the demons gone, yet?

Perhaps, they vacation for a bit before retreating back into the memory-foam of your mind

You are quite restless tonight

Maybe it’s from the whiskey

You toss, turn and your legs kicking up

It is the cool and bitterness of spring’s breeze

In the midst of happy flower and the sadness and starkness of your ex’s hollowed out eyes

From a poison too steepening like shouting into a bottomless mossy-brick well

No answers, endless blackness

Quiet stings as with each blooming daffodil and naïve lil’ daises

A screaming yellow pitching into your blanket of normality that is a cloak of an un-broadcasted TV channel’s heavy static

Black, white, gray


The flashing light fades the pre-existing blurred composition

Gray, white, black


Moving around the screen

Can’t keep track

Sunshine’s onto your bleak and calloused heart

Chipping away at the overgrowth of your disparity

Exposing your masochism and apathetic love notes

It leaks and sops into a bile of a beast’s gut

Dripping down from his mouth in a language of regurgitated words

Sticking like tar to the bottom of your soles

You walked away from it, but your soul didn’t

Sometimes the body of your heels double click when trekking well-known territories

Now barefoot on the sterile sandy shore

The water cerulean blue, the crests truest to sea foam green

And there

You are….


We are fused together even after the darkened fuchsia smoke

When approaching Summer’s welcoming end

There will be a slight yellow tinge to the tips of the sharp Silver Maple leaves

With the whispered finally of sleeping birds and the closing of lilies

Nobody spoke


Mixed-Media on board by MMM