She reached and grabbed and poured and shook and he watched. A drop of red juice trickling down her arm.
After the abortion fiasco, Ariadne’s hair began to fall out. Steel stood by her side and reminded her that he’d taken an oath to love her, rich or poor, fat or skinny, in sickness and in health, with hair or without hair. She realized after the nightclub fire that he hadn’t vowed to love her with skin or without. But it was too late.
On her One-Minute Date with a Podiatrist
warts bunions calluses corns
cysts infections incisions thorns
ulcerations lacerations amputations
She shook her head and shook his hand
He’s rich she guessed
Handsome she knew
But could she ever fall for a man
without removing her shoes
on the couple at the next table
she burned her lips on the black
and stained her skirt
Grumbling stomach and jangling tail
the dragon breathes in and out
exhaling your turning pages of magazines
your ringtones of chirps and tweets
and messages Important! Don’t Forget!
I tried to sleep. The dragon lulled.
But you’re constant nudging in my ribs
Daddy told me I was the spawn of Creature Double Feature on Channel 56. Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster. It wasn’t exactly the birds and the bees answer I’d been hoping for but it made sense. I nodded my head and made Barbie do a split.
He finally went to the emergency room on the 9th day of July, five days after the epic tug-of-war competition. Surgeons performed a skin graft to repair the damage to his hands, arms and back. Movement might be limited for a time, they told him. But god willing, he’d be anchoring the team again next summer.
He sat for a spell in the mangled wreck, breathing in her scent. Jasmine, cigarettes and gasoline. The aroma of death. The mix tape was still in the cassette player. He ejected it and kissed the Play button.
Thighs of milk
a mile long
he dug in
took a drink
in the hollow
his daughter’s name
The big bodied Italian
assaulted my mouth
aggressive and rash
at first just too brash
she lingered and caressed
her fat sassy ass
on the nose of my throat
til I ordered another glass
Um. Wait. Make that a bottle, please.
Just to let you know
the garlic bagel
that you left
on the counter
you’d already schmeared
with cream cheese
smelling of garlic
our lips meet
One blue clog took wind in the swirl and swarm
of Beethoven’s Symphony # 9
It landed with a clunk in my brain. D minor.
She let the dirt fall through her fingers. M would be mad, she knew, when she returned home. Finally. Soiled and stained. M didn’t understand the magnet of the ground and the smell of life.
A confetti of feathers and a symphony of squawks. The aviary rattled with fireworks. But the zookeeper inside stood still. As the body was removed from the lion’s lair he cooed to the birds above.
Off stage he was a different person. Doodling on a pad he’d draw a line down her spine to the periwinkles on the keel until she swatted him away in laughter. They’d lock and snake and talk in nonsense until his eyes caught sight of the eclipse from the gap in the venetians. Then he’d be gone.
She smacked my face for telling tales. And I cried. But not because she’d hurt me with the hard fire on her hand and not because she’d called me a liar. She’d find out. The owl-eyed man lived in the attic and he’d slouch down again.
She sat on the divan in her yellow taffeta staring at the frisee salad. It wilted as the hours passed and the doorbell stood still. Finally, she turned off the porch light and climbed the stairs to bed.
My diary. All my secret thoughts. Violated.
The rumpled quilt gave her away.
From now on I’ll hide it in the broom cupboard where she’ll never look for it.
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