Eye Candy:

Duck Butter and “Moments in Love” (Master of None S3)

By Emilie Kneifel

i think i think in shadow shifts until they see something through which they can blurt. ekphrasis as thoughts thudding through solid like steady beads of tapioca. Eye Candy is for suck, clack against teeth, maybe melt in the middle. periscope tongue looking always to rest. settling in at the movies.

Duck Butter

ringing, kicking under layers, waking up in someone else’s afternoon. armpit clamp, unbrushed. silent kettle scream in their kitchen. 

sergio, who unironically yells beauty to the moon; naima, who insists she likes dogs even though no one needs her to. split reactions to identical (death) anxiety, they meet at a bar and decide to “skip through fucking time” by spending 24 hours together and fucking on the hour.

/(black hairtie wrapped around sergio’s thumb, black hairtie wrapped around mine)/ they cry like little kids, so tired. the sun comes up, so wrong.

shriek eye, thrump of a sheet. every emotion a heel pushing into a mattress. i just want to be closer to you, says naima, pulling through the bathroom door—desperately needing in the other direction. (i cried and cried in the wrong way. showered. in a towel, remembered the floor).

Moments in Love 

story of another queer couple, slowness even more decadent. the bedside tables (matches, wrappers, popcorn, blunts) (crystal, water, tea, Girl, Woman, Other). lichen, crisp. the morning. rubber band, still touched, swinging from a shelf. 

in the second to last episode, alicia is alone. other than some phone voices一mother, donor, her ultrasound tech’s soft-serve hum一only alicia enters her lilac apartment. stacks boxes on the counter from her hip. 

crying on the stairs, dropping her keys, sitting in a laundromat long enough to flare eyes at the music. it’s not that this extreme is easier—but it is clearer. her want is hers. it’s not a pulling string, ridge-riddling an increasingly arhythmic co-entity. 

if there is shuddering, it’s not from the constant electrocution of reactive input, but because it’s also possible to stay out too long, too wide, waking. (i walked thirty-six thousand steps in a day. no one but me saw the lights.)

i think about the extent to which any movement is driven by fear, startling out of a dog nap and into the low-long knowledge of one’s own mortality. as life continues. as i thud as it passes. i feed v and t’s cat, yellow chair, quiet. where do i go in the silence, bent over waiting to turn again. push in the cheek of the living. a tiktok about eggs tasting too much like eggs, palate-ridge painful. how clear.

emilie kneifel, in bed with their palms up