Downtown, my headlights round the marina. And, like the way your knuckle jams sometimes (that empty pain), it’s snowing again. The tires barely crunch as I pull up to the edge of the lake. City lights glow behind, dark water in front; and all I can think is how old things are covered, with new things replaced. I loved you once. My tracks fill with snow.
Lyssa learns her new scars by tracing them in the mirror. Still raw and puckered between the stitches. She holds her breath and counts until she can’t look anymore. Yesterday she made it to twenty-seven. Today it’s only eight. She wraps her stomach back up and goes to feed the baby.
When the county sheriff’s car changes lanes and is suddenly behind you, you start to wonder about all the mistakes you’ve made throughout your life like that time you gave the cat a bath and are sure the neighbors heard it yowling, or when you called your ex drunk in the middle of the night even though he said if you ever did again he’d call the cops. Things like that. Red and blue, sirens blare louder, then pass in sonic arc. You’re still shaken on the side of the road well after traffic resumes. But they didn’t get you this time.Continue reading →
Together we looked out against the Sea of Time, but we caught only glimpses of the past. So much has happened that will not be remembered. Overwhelmed and ashamed of my own smallness, I looked away. But Hasha caught my hand and pointed.
“This was the day the walls of Hannok fell,” she whispered. “I remember.” Her breath was lost on the wind, like so many memories swallowed by the yawn of time. What words, what wisps like anyone’s secure themselves in history? They are not the noblest, nor the most beautiful, nor even the loudest. They are what we find after the dust has settled.
The prairie is vast, flax seed blooming from your toes to the horizon. Blue touching blue, a union. Incurable sweetness in your lungs. This would be a good death, you think. It’s peaceful. It’s pure.
But you move on.
The challenge of a hill and the pleasure of a valley – the arc between your shoulder blade and spine – marks a preferred route through the blazed trees. There’s pleasure in a climb. Your lungs sigh with exertion. Not all labor is toil, you say as your calves grow lean and strong and your back straightens towards the sun.
This part of the walk always gives me the creeps, but my dog pulls behind the circle of apartment houses, back at the edge of the creek, with no regard for my fears. Animals are supposed to be more attuned to the spirit world, right? So if there’s something out there, she would know. This is what I tell myself as she takes a leisurely squat next to the loquat. I ready a plastic bag, and just as it closes around the warm excretion steaming into the night air, I hear it. Click. Whiff.Continue reading →
We reincarnate as beasts more and more cruel. Each pass through fate’s transmogrifier sharpens our claws, sour hunter’s instincts. Why say goodbye when I’ll see you again, your canines extended down below your jaw? Fur matted, dripping blood either yours or mine. It makes no difference. They’re practically the same now. We’re practically the same dumb beasts, playing on inherited senses. Driven by the compulsion to bite, kill, feed. I feel the coiling of your limbs burning in my own sinew, can sense your strike but not prevent it. Then around again through kill, rebirth. Wicked jaws bared, murders stacked.
Wish you’d followed me that night, out to the curb where the air was October crisp and changing. Needed to clear my head, but you were a fog I couldn’t drive out. So I rolled the windows down and let it seep in.