Twenty Years and Again
A roach across the floor with light after its body, illuminating cornea-thin wings. There were roaches all those years before, but I was younger then, and my mother not nearly so sick.
This is your bedroom, baby. I love it, I love it, she said. She ran to the porcelain cat curled on the nightstand. Pink! I love it. I just love it. I had told her I hoped she’d liked. She liked it, I was sure, for me. A soul so old for a girl missing only three teeth from new gums.
A Picture for Marking His Place
Great Biographies. Stacks of these, a series, in the back bedroom where the old man lived half a lifetime. The books I shuffle like old cards. Thumb-hammering through one, there’s my picture marking page sixteen, wincing into the sunlight, standing, as always, in exactly the wrong spot.
I put the necklace on the sink and rubbed the tips of my fingers across my throat and upper chest. Forever was forever, but the silver coating was fading and the copper was showing. My children reduced to shards of pennies, and I’d not showered in weeks.
The Mercy Prayer
Somewhere there’s a road that curves in England. I’m not sure how that helps, but to think of it. A curvy road, flatly paved, that rolls between green grass and ends somewhere where answers spring up like well water. Think of that, and not of this.