The Editor

She: “We lack context.”

He: “You know, Em, words aren’t everything.”

He then cut so much of who she was from their story she became a literary prop on which he could hang his coat. “This is perfect.” he sighed happily into the quiet, his collar hanging precariously from the hook she had become.

Aleph Taw Atbash

A woman wakes up and wonders what the day will bring.

Breakfast? Coffee? Donuts? Eggs?

Fantasy takes hold and brings her underwater snowstorms and brightly collapsing stars.

Go on then she encourages her subconscious, stretching the sleep from her soul and soles… so delicious.

(How she rose from her rest on the red couch and went through the motions of the morning’s ritual is anybody’s guess.)

Illuminated by travel wary photons her hands collect the kettle and press; “kettle and press, kettle and press,” their methodical movement sings.

Joyfully she holds her singing hands to her heart, remembering her dream from the night before.

“Kettle and press, kettle and press,” her heart answers electrically against her palm. Lightning singes her fingertips, the kettle whistles, and her body collapses into itself, 1000 layers deep. Masterfully, she pours the kettle’s contents into the press and breathes deeply through four minutes and eternity before pushing down the plunger.

Neat rows of thrift store coffee mugs line the shelf, she picks her favorite, “Trivial Pursuit”, and fills it with her morning’s work. Opulence ensues.

“Perhaps she will survive the brutalities of this day after all?” she narrates to nobody. Quietly contemplating the untangling of her universe, a noiseless cacophony, she pulls herself under.

Reality folds bends and stretches into newly recognized patterns; her coffee grows colder. Streams of sunshine delicately illuminate tangles of her uncombed hair.

Tomorrow will be better, her fingers tap somberly onto the tabletop. Under circumstances more direct and venerable she would have denied this sly foreboding, but is uneasy.

Velvety dreamscapes give way to more sinister expressions of emptiness and existence. Wary of wounding her imagination in this way she steps, shoulders hunched, into the shower, hoping its contents and comfort will shake free the premonition.

Xanthic tiles welcome her as she revels in the feeling of so many tiny drops of water touching her skin at once. Yesterday washes itself away against watertight walls barely big enough to contain her. Zeta-like, the tiny yellow room does its work to restore her faith in the beauty of the everyday.

The Bitch that Breeds and Bites

He said, “I’m sorry those kids decorated the Christmas tree without you.”

He didn’t say
“I’m sorry I don’t care to know you well enough to think you might want to participate in this.”
“I’m sorry I assumed you wouldn’t care.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t think to even communicate this event.”
“I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”
“I’m sorry I don’t know you.”

I’d like to believe this is what he meant, but can’t be sure, just making light of it. I’m not sure he understands that he was making light of it, denying himself the realness of the folly.

I try to imagine it was a purposeful slight, or that I am just not trying hard enough to understand his unspoken languages, but have given up thinking anything more ripples under the surface. This is painful to think. I am horrible.

I am the tempest that happened to him. A violent lust that consumed him without checking to see that he was fully awake. I am the monster that ten years ago ate the man that sheltered her from emotions too big to comprehend, and again the fiend that spit him out. I am the bitch that breeds and bites. I have no loyalties. I am my own wretched reality tv show.

“Mama, we saved the birds for you to hang on the tree. We know they are your favorite.”

Laid it on the Table

The restless things

The parts about waitings

That keep me up at night

I laid em’ out on the table

quick and clean

straight from the cutting board into the wood grain

I said to you what it felt like to be in this space

And all that second guessing of conversation I’d prepared just in case

wasn’t needed after all

there just isn’t any conversation to be had in this place