The crescent moon cast a light on the water as it licked the sand, compressing its surface. Mark, age 10, sat in his room miles away from the windy beach, but nevertheless he saw the porous moon reflecting off of the rippled waves. Underneath the sky, above the sand, Mark saw himself sitting with his little sister Joan. Joan wore a ponytail and the polka-dot skirt their mother dressed her in on special occasions. Here, in Mark’s daydream, was their wedding. He could finally kiss her in that way he imagined he would. For the rest of his life, he could smack her face with big puckered up lips and lots of spit.
In real life Mark was very shy. Whenever his sister was near, the world became overwhelmingly bright and his head would focus on the floor. In addition to her gloriousness, Joan was very mean to Mark and was very big for a seven year old. She once grabbed him by his shirt corners and pushed him against a wall for hovering over her: “YOU’RE ANNOYING ME!”
But in his world she said nothing. Her glue sealed lips were objects to be kissed. He was puppeteer and she puppet. So, as he lay on the beach in only his swimwear, he began to recite poetry of his own making into her ears, and her ears began to bleed; wanting to be much closer to the source of the words.
"You look so pretty/ You’re so witty/ I love you so many.” Mark wanted to be a poet one day, so he would write several poems each week with Joan as the inspiration. He hid them in his underpants so that if anyone ever checked his pockets he would maintain his secret love life. On the beach they were lain out with audacity in a neat pile next to Joan’s feet.
They had gone down to the beach to escape the wedding. The priest was nice and funny and they both laughed through the whole thing, but his dad stood ominously shaking his head in disapproval as his mother wept with so much oomph that it appeared she had gone to a wedding when she had in fact prepared herself to go to a funeral. Dad wore a suit and had his hands clasped at his torso. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t bark or smack Mark’s forehead; he just stood there with his eyes digging holes into Joan’s head, occasionally swinging his wide jaw from one side to the other.
As Mark read his vows he saw his father begin to shake in rage like he sometimes did after he came home with a putrid smell, a loosened tie, and glazed eyeballs. Mark was prepared to shout “You can’t do anything about it!” but he lost the courage and instead grabbed Joan’s limp little arm and urged her to run with him to the beach. They ran, and ran, and ran, but it seemed that after they began to flee they were safe from harm and needn’t continue. Eventually it dawned on Mark that there was no need to run; they were safe, and as their breathing began to labor he looked back at his younger sister and started to laugh. He wanted her to laugh, and she did. The run turned into a prance and they giggle-laughed until they let themselves fall on that patch of beach with the view of the moon and the black sky’s reflection.
The sight entranced them as they lay with their backs to the ground and their hands behind their heads. The intermingling was as natural as anything could be. They had to be the same: moon and water, darkness and light, brother and sister. Mark decided that that moment was perfect and looked up to Joan to see her smiling—not thinking, waiting for her next instruction.
He got up onto one arm to lean above her as he began to speak, and thought it might be nice to surprise her with a kiss. It would be perfect. “Joan, I have something to tell you…” But before he got a chance to give her one of his wet kisses, she smacked him. His face hurt beyond imagination and he couldn’t figure out what happened to those innocent blue orbs. Her stern eyes were already racing away, but her body soon followed. She floated up and out like a dandelion on a breezeway. Mark was alone now and he let his attention turn back to the water only to see the moon’s image leaving the it, and the tide rising.
There are toys on the floor. There is meatloaf oozing into his nostrils. There is no sand, but in his tiny room with racecar sheets and Pokemon cards scattered on the floor he can still see the fading image of the moon escaping the water.
Kids! Come down for dinner!
Hearing his mother’s shrill voice he knew his sister would never read the words, "You look so pretty/ You’re so witty/ I love you so many.” He shook his tiny jaw and sobbed salty tears that leaked down to his lips. His mouth was glued shut.
He pulled out his penis and began to castrate himself.