“Is chloroform with a ‘k’ or ‘ch’?” she mutters, her face still purple red with rage and scorn.
I live near the airport, and everyday low flying planes enter and exit my life unnoticed.
Today over my favorite part of the Nutcracker Suite, I heard the news tell me my new country had attacked my old one.
I left the tiny room and sat in my half empty closet. I thought of my grandmother. She once told me wearing red panties brought nightly visits from our dead loved ones. I’ve worn red panties every day and night since my father died. Now, I will wear two.
I will go up to New York City not Walmart to buy my new red mourning under dressing. I will cry in the fitting room under bright lights and security camera scrutiny.
Now, I sit staring at the light’s line tracing the closet door’s edges until it blurs.
Then, I hear the muffled sonic boom.
“Why is every picture I click emphasizing his damn wedding ring?”
“I am sorry. Can we take another one. Maybe with that pinkish purple stuff?” Katherine suggested.
“Pinkish purple stuff, really?” Margaret says stiffly.
“They send us a food photographer who knows nothing of food. Bloody brilliant!” she thinks grabbing the “stuff” and beginning to lovingly spoon it on the plate.
“Oh great… a purist,” Katherine thinks blushing at her ignorance and the awkwardness of the situation.
After all, it’s not very often Katherine had to take a photo series of her lover and his wife.
wrecks and rebuilds
my spilling spirit.
our heat burns water
melt on our tongues.
i tattoo your lip’s
tracks on my thighs.
“When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed…” The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
“Why is it so hot this morning?” I ponder as I slowly wake from oddly lucid dreams of chewing rawhide and hunting flying squirrels.
I fall out of my bed onto the gray floor’s hard ceramic tiles.
“What is going on? Why can’t I straighten? Am I going blind? And, what is that smell?”
I crawl to my cherry Coaster Louis Philippe dresser and slowly paw my way to its top and use it to balance.
I stare at what must be me in the beveled mirror with abject horror!
In the place of me, a middle aged, overweight, dental hygienist, a golden retriever pants!
“But, my husband is allergic to dogs!” I bark.
“Oh no, did I just bark?!”
I frantically scurry around the room trying to understand what has happened and resist my gut urges to simultaneously chase my tail and fetch a ball.
“Oh no, I have a tail!”
I wake to the easy midday sunlight, sprawled on my favorite rug scrap on the back porch.
“What an odd dream!” I smile and yawn, “I think I was a middle aged, overweight dental hygienist. Who wants to think about getting old, ice cream and teeth all day when I can think about running in spring green fields and autumn brown swamps, sucking on onion grass, and playing with my pups?”
Surrounded by my young, yipping and nipping fuzz puffs, I chase my tail gleefully spying a red ball needing fetching.
Dianne discovers an origami crane nestled in a high branch of her favorite dogwood tree. She climbs higher than ever to claim it. She almost believes if she falls, the crane will swoop down and carry her away.
She reaches and grasps the crane. She cradles it in her hand. She notices words written across its breast and right wing.
Look up, look within.
Hope with tears.
a light rain begins…
I choose salt.
The work of remembering,
She never felt small by the ocean.
The Frustrated Mage
She reads the words quietly to herself and shivers. She recognizes this message as something to her from many…from the universe.
She clasps it to her heart, bows her head, sighs, and smiles her future.
Contact Box collected titles used as title of this piece and poem on crane found at https://cvillewinter.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/title-needed/
Thank you to all who participated!
(photo by nikhelbig.com)
If the second floor Garment District view had a view, it would see her, a splash of colors and curves to meet all its grays and lines. It would also notice the opened package exploding in neon avocado tissue paper and a metallic eggplant box.
The stoic view would probably notice these two first, since the rest of the space was painted and draped in a base cream, hints of milk, and sparkles of glowing egg white.
She remembered her old boss ordering their kitchen be painted ecru. She always thought it sounded more like a small, delicate bird than a paint sample. A caged bird. And, she was sure that the blueberry bird of happiness was actually ecru. And, marrow caged.
January 22, 9:23 PM
Infuriated at what he feels to be his lover’s ineptitude and lackadaisical nature, he decides not to read aloud to her and instead sinks into dreamless sleep.
A single snow flake alights the window and slides, leaving trails of its tears, along the glass.
Here, bells of alarm clocks sound.
The next morning she decides to skip her psychiatric appointment to write. She stares at the screen. Narrative is blocked for hours. She puts away her dreams of becoming a writer. She lies down and sinks into dreamless sleep.
“Where is he? If we don’t get this shot now, we are done for the day, and I can’t afford to re-shoot.”
He waits another ten minutes, sighs, and tells everyone to go home.
“Damn, Billy,” he mutters and goes home to get wasted and to forget how close he came to making something meaningful.
A Market Street Market cashier loses his job as he yells at a frequent customer for loudly complaining about not being able to redeem an expired coupon. As he walks home, he knows it was never about the coupon.
Downtown, two older men and one middle aged woman walk to the stop as the free trolley approaches. They yell for the trolley to wait. No one hears them. Angry, they begin to curse. Another man approaching with a young child asks them to calm down and stop cursing. Arguing ensues. A fight breaks. The child is pushed into the street too quickly for the car to brake.
A single snow flake caresses the tragic baby’s brow as she lies on the asphalt.
Here, bells of sirens sound.
January 22, 9:23 PM
Although he ruminates about the apparent poor state of his affair, he knows she loves to hear him share stories with her each night. He reads to her about the importance of participation and fulfilling obligations. She knows this is hard for him and hides a grateful smile as not to embarrass him. After an hour of reading, he and she sink into dreamless sleep.
The next morning she guiltily decides to skip her psychiatric appointment. She wants to write. Her computer freezes. She reconsiders and goes.
As she sits at the bus stop by the ice park, she sees two of her friends and a woman from the shelter bundled up and hustling quickly to the stop. She sees the trolley approaching and motions it to stop. As the woman gets on the bus, the two smile at each other.
Surprised to be moved, the older woman cries quietly for the first time in seven years. This time she knows she has left her hard man for good. She slouches on the wooden trolley seat marvelling at her new found bravery and resolution.
“Billy, are you coming in or going out?” she asked.
“I am actually trying to leave but I can’t carry everything to–”
She has already picked up two of his bags and accompanies him to his car.
Billy packs everything for the shoot in the backseat, hugs her, and drives away blending seamlessly into the light traffic.
Billy gets the epic shot in the last of the light before the winter storm.
Lunch rings up $4.59. Still pleased at seeing her favorite photographer, she pays with a five and places all of the change in the give a penny, take a penny jar.
The cashier stops stroking the penny in his jean pocket and begins to look slightly ill. She doesn’t notice, thanks him, and goes on to her next errand.
“What does it mean? I make a deal with God I would reconnect with my Dad if I had exact change for a single stamp two seconds ago– knowing all I had was a penny. And, this lady drops in exactly forty one cents?”
Nodding his head slowly. he takes out a tablet from under the register, uncaps his pen, and begins to write.
Brushing the snow from her hair, she arrives home, restarts her computer, and begins to write.
All is right.
God takes a deep breath from her diaphragm, blows a kiss to them all, and Cheshire cat grins.
Here, bells of laughter sound.
i have long given up
i, now, nod…
i am not sure.
shivering and stooped
up our slightly inclined road
slicing our neighborhood
into opposite sides,
right and wrong,
awake and drowsy drugged.