October 2018

25 2 4

I layered the meat with mature cheddar and jalapeño relish, sandwiched in a brioche bun. It may be a burger, but it's far from fast food. It's slow, delicious and worth the effort. He was never this satisfying alive, but minced and grilled, he's perfect. 

- - - - -

They said if opportunity doesn't knock, build a door, but I'd spent too long shut away behind things. Instead, I burned my walls to the ground and now I run wild with opportunity by my side. Neither of us were built to obey platitudes. 

- - - - -

People are fond of saying, "When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras," but Conquest, War, Famine and Death thunder through regardless and the end arrives with a familiar face, in spite of our misused aphorisms. 

- - - - -

Always the sensation seeker, I slide my breath between your fingers and ask for more, again, now, please.

And you, my sweetest overdose, my favourite extreme, you shake your head again in gentle denial.

Next time. Maybe next time.

(Maybe forever) 

- - - - -

The dream finds me at the water's edge, watching the horizon, awaiting the wave. It swells and it crashes and swallows me whole.

I open my eyes and reach for the surface. A dry, waking impulse with a disappointing end.

Unswallowed, I am no longer whole. 

- - - - -

"Is it naval with an a, or navel with an e?" she asks. "I mean, for belly buttons, not boats."

Again, I want to say something about using a dictionary, searching online, finding out for herself. But again, I spell the word out loud, because part of love is patience.  

- - - - -

He kicked me awake. "Child, you are sloth!" He slapped the food from my hand. "Child, you are gluttony!" To him, I was every sin, beyond saving.

I stood over him, the concrete block ready to drop. He opened his eyes. I let go. "Father, I am wrath."

I saved myself. 

- - - - -

I raise a hand and wait for her to imitate. Nothing. I reach for her and touch only cold glass.

She puts on lipstick and fixes her hair. With a last smile at herself, looking through me, she leaves.

And I'm here, still, on the other side of the mirror. 

- - - - -

I rubbed my hand against the cheap carpet then touched the screen of the old TV, giggles lit by static electricity. "It's magic!"

My sister rolled her eyes. "No, it's science."

Our grandmother, who, after years working in a lab, knew better, said, "Same thing." 

- - - - -

Unseeing eyes stare up from below the surface, cold hands reaching for nothing, legs held by tangles of something further down than I can see. You died the way you lived, walking on thin ice, underestimating depth and danger. There's poetry in the treachery of bravado. 

- - - - -

The translations call you ecstasy, fury, death. You wander with thought and memory. You are magic, knowledge and poetry in my prayers. I give wine to the earth for you, for our shared delusion that we hold the power to prevent the inevitable catastrophe. 

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