Butter by Stina Trollbäck

It happens quite often that I feel my thoughts start to disseminate like continental drift.

It happens also that I feel like I am biting into a chunk of solid butter.

        Sometimes, though, it is melted butter, and sometimes the butter is whipped.

        Those days are good ones.

From time to time, the sky appeals to me so much that I have an uncontrollable desire to drink tufts of clouds through a peppermint-striped paper straw and feel the wispy white slinking down my throat.

I have a muscle in my leg that, when I’m really concentrated, pulses under my knee and doesn’t allow me to stop bouncing it.

Sometimes when I watch rain pouring down outside my window, I feel water lapping over my contact lenses like there are windshield-wipers in my eye bags.

 

I do feel in control of myself occasionally, though.

I know how to swallow on purpose, blink on purpose, listen on purpose.

 

Some days I have neutral legs.

Neutral wrists.

Neutral shoulders.

My legs and wrists and shoulders give off a slight vibration that is unnoticeable: energetic yet calm.

 

When I’m cold, my sweat glands secrete fire; when I’m warm, they secrete ice.

 

I wonder if there is anyone in the world who has pierced fingertips and five hoop earrings dangling from each hand.

I wonder if anyone else has ever wondered about that.

 

Sometimes, if my mom is driving our car, my dad will stick both his legs out the passenger seat window.

I’ve never asked why, because he probably won’t have an answer that makes sense. But I’ve always assumed my impulsive nature stems from the strands of DNA I inherited from him.

 

I wonder if he has an urge to drink clouds. I wonder if anyone else does.

Sometimes I am frozen milk left out in the sun, and I’m dripping and unfreezing and whipping myself into wispy clouds so that I can drink myself.

 

 

When I listen to people talking while I’m mad, all I can hear are potato-peeler sounds that cause my skin to flake and my feet to writhe.

When I listen to people talking while I’m sad, I am the churning heat in the air, creating wind slowly, like a milkmaid making butter.

 

My brother is less than one year old and hasn’t quite mastered crawling yet, so when he tries, his knees are soft, watery butter, and he slips and smacks his tummy on the ground, so I pick him up and put his knees in the refrigerator for a while.

    Soon he will have butter-knees strong enough to crawl on.

 

Sometimes, though, my mom is confused to see drawings of knees sitting in the fridge, but I tell her it’s a metaphor.

“I’m teaching Alec how to crawl.”

She gives me a look.

This is when I know my thoughts have disseminated.

 

“Mom have you ever seen someone with pierced fingertips?”

“I don’t think people do that. There are too many nerves in fingertips.”

“Is it possible?”

“I guess so. Don’t do it, please.”

 

My leg is bouncing, emitting blips of energy without my permission, but I am melted butter today, so it is a good day.

 

I have decided to like cauliflower and pumpernickel, and I have decided to like these things as a two-year-old likes bubbles.

 

My lips are bubbling. I used to play with bubbles.

There are liquified soap bars in my stomach, and solidified liquid soap has encased all the wiggling cells in my brain.

My brain contains pink soap balloons.

The balloons are turning yellow, like salted butter. The yellow balloons taste like sour apples. The sour apple taste is delicate, like cauliflower.

 

When I was a two-year-old who played with bubbles, I would catch them in my mouth and feel the soap cover my tongue.

A few years later, I melted butter and mixed it with whipped cream in a bowl and drank my mixture and pretended I was drinking butter-flavor whipped clouds. That was yesterday.

 

Sometimes I wonder if it is possible for butter to rot to the extent where it’s brown like pumpernickel.

I wonder if anyone else has wondered about that.

 

Biting into frozen butter with buckteeth is like being the only one awake on a double-decker airplane.

Butter for buckteeth.    

        Rotten pumpernickel butter for buckteeth.

                    Expired airplane pumpernickel butter for buckteeth.

It happens on occasion that I feel like my tongue is a frying pan being burnt by butter.

It happens also that I feel my irises revolving like a silver doorknob.

        Sometimes the doorknob is sticky from bubbles.

        Sometimes my tongue is sticky from bubbles and butter.

 

        Sometimes I think my urine is melted butter.

 

Sometimes my stomach is chunky like a chunk of butter after I eat butter.

Sometimes my mom tells me not to eat butter.

 

Sometimes I think I’m allergic to butter.

 

 

One time, when I was trying to pick Alec up off his tummy, there were hoops dangling from my fingers, and I couldn’t.

So Alec had to stay on his tummy.

 

I’ve decided I won’t pierce my fingertips.

                                                And clouds are too high up for me to reach.

 

 

My brother has learned how to crawl. Now I am waiting for his soft-butter-feet to harden.