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My Body, Her Canvas

The February issue of Apex is live, and it contains my short story, My Body, Her Canvas.

It’s about art, and artists, and the relationship between artist and muse. It’s also about the way people see themselves, versus the way other people see them, and body image, and a flipping of typical gender roles. And tattoos. I tried to cram a lot into one story, and I may or may not have been successful. I’ll leave that to you to judge.

The needle buzzes, setting up a whine in my back teeth. Under her careful hand, a spatter of stars—midnight blue—arc from the curve of my hip-bone to the soft flesh of my inner thigh. Sarah moves my penis aside, dispassionate, getting exactly the right angle to complete the sweep of her constellation.

I catch the sterile scent of the thin rubber stretched over her hands. Clinical. The gloves put thoughts into my head of medical exams, and tables better suited to holding corpses than living, breathing things.

My flesh puckers, pulling tight around the tiny bumps left where Sarah’s razor has scraped me clean again. I know better than to scratch, doing nothing that could mark or scar her canvas. Any imperfection will be by her design; it isn’t for me to decide…

Read the rest here.

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