DIY by Mia Mishek


I nearly died the night I tried to cut it off myself. A half bottle of rye sat sticky on my kitchenette counter. The blood filled the bathtub, quickly then slowly, like wringing out a soaked towel. I FaceTimed my sister, and when I tapped the camera around she screamed.

Afterwards, I bought a one-way ticket to Mexico City and downloaded a Spanish learning game on my phone. It chirped at me as I learned like a baby. I am a woman. He is a man. Juan eats apples. I am sorry. 

When I got to the hospital, I had a hard time explaining why I was there. English and Spanish had left my brain. I stood mute as the receptionist said, “English? ¿Español? Français?” I finally drew a diagram and circled the vagina on the stick figure, over and over. Her face whitened.

When the police came, I realized my mistake. No, no, not raped. Not here. They gave softer eyes than American cops. One of them pressed a stick of peppermint gum in my hand when I started to cry.

I snuck out of the hospital when the nurse left the room and found a restaurant with two stools and three tables. A fan circulated dead air. The owner poured beer from a glass bottle and he fed me steaming rice and beans and seasoned flesh. The meat flaked like the folds of a cunt. Folded under my fork like when he pushed into me. No, I didn’t enjoy it. I finished my plate.

I went back to the hospital with gained English, and I explained to the receptionist, the same one from a few hours before. She became angry. Why didn’t you speak? she asked. She refused to help me, so I left.

The nurse from before was smoking outside. En serio, she started. The cigarette bobbed between her teeth. ¿Qué te trae por aquí? Let me show you, I responded.

She led me into one of the outpatient surgery rooms normally reserved for colonoscopies. It smelled faintly of taint and bleach, and the smell curled into my nostrils like a sleeping dog. She asked me if I was sure, and I said yes, of course. She hissed when she took off my underwear. I could feel the blood leak as she cracked the scabs open. There’s not much else to do, she said. She scraped off the bloody kernel and said, There you go.




Mia Mishek is a fiction writer in Brooklyn.


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