Micrograffiti: Couching by Karolina Waclawiak


Couching by Karolina Waclawiak

“Vital breaths are longer.”

He said it and then he wrote it and then he breathed it into my mouth. What he wrote came out smashed up and he hit his teeth on my teeth and his breath tasted sour and I pushed him away laughing. Wiping.

I skipped through the tunnel. To the sofa, pocked with dirt and needle marks.

“Poor sofa,” I said.

He asked why. “It gets laid. It gets rubbed. It gets action,” he said.

“Alright, alright.”

I let him get rubbed. I gave him some action. He went, “Mmm. Mmmm.” And I went, “Uh uh.”

I heard footsteps. He got up quicker than me. No sneaking a peek at his little one.

His jacket crinkled when I touched it. Not crinoline or anything. For runners.

The footsteps stopped and I asked who he thought it was.

“I don’t care,” he said. And then all I could hear was his jacket crinkling.

He stared at what he had written, already dry.

“It says ‘Vita Brevis Ars Longa’.”

“What’s it mean?” I asked.

“It’s Latin.”

He smacked my ass and walked me forward, toward the light, toward the gaping mouth of the tunnel.


Karolina Waclawiak is the Assistant Editor of The Believer and lives and writes in Brooklyn.


Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>


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