• We were on the couch. We were on our backs, but we weren’t lying down. It burned in me like the novel I knew was inside me; the novel everyone knew was inside them at the time. We were two words in one of a hundred novels, thirty-seven of which ended with a kiss on the last page and sixty-three of which ended with “Maybe we shouldn’t have done that.”
    I loved it for the same reason comedians are funny. I was expected to. I was told to. I couldn’t open my mouth, so I wrote my scream on the arm of the couch, and it ran down my legs. My scream left a wet imprint on the cushion, like the indentation of a bedmate’s head on the pillow.
    My mouth was too full to let my brain go in. I always figured I breathed in my brain like air. When my mouth was full I couldn’t breathe in more brain. She pulled away from me and I thought God is the original plagiarist, before she went against me and she raped me full of her brain again
    I sent a copy of the first few pages to my new editor. My last one thought I should write another book about the Criss-Cross man, but I couldn’t. My laughter wouldn’t let me. Whenever I sat down to write another one of those crappy beach novels, my laughter and self-contempt would spill out of my insides like someone had taken a scalpel to my stomach. It ran down my legs and dripped onto the floor. It stained my carpet.
    The speaker in this book was dead. Her corpse smiled at me from the carpet, a dead, wintry thing, but still smiling. “I think I’ll call you Lady Lazarus,” I said. “After a Syliva Plath poem.”
    She giggled at me from Death, and her voice reminded me of something human.