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SloughIt starts with a metronomic
drip-splat, each drop a bastinado
blow on the feet of sleep.
Floundering from our half-
cold bed, I navigate the room
like a blind albatross until the bitch
of a stubbed toe stops me.
deep in the house. Rust runnels
down walls we painted ivory.
I find the sink choking,
the refrigerator dead, puddles
rising, like stigmata, on the lino.
The kettle boils itself.
It's been three weeks since you left
this house. I thought by now
it would have stopped grieving.
Better To Be HorsesShe pretends to be horses. Not one,
but a herd hurtling breakneck
past homes where other children sleep.
Better to be horses
than flattened under sheets,
to run until her body breaks:
Mustang, Arabian, Pinto, her tails
pluming as she streams
through the dark. Hooves flashing
on pavement, their thunder
proof against silhouette and silence,
she strains to be free of earth
until she comes to the edge
of the world and the horses, panting,
drop their heads
to catch their breath
before the long walk home.
The SuitorDon Emilio calls on us each week. My sisters
watch him like hungry cats: Juanita,
so thin she pokes holes in the sheets,
sour-lipped Pilar, and poor Ines
with her crooked back. But it is to me
his black eyes most often wander.
Mama serves him coffee,
and tightly rolled flautas. Our guest picks
at the food, boasts of his villa
in Guanajuato; immaculate hands dip
and hover like jewelled birds.
I have begun to suspect
that Don Emilio is not looking for a wife.
HomesickDo not let them see you blink,
Mother said, so I am careful to turn
away when my eyes dry out. My grip
on the brush is clumsy. Colours speck
and dazzle, slop like foam on rocks;
the teacher dabs their brilliance
from my flaking arms. Children whisper
behind starfish hands; they go to play
in the bright, hot yard but I stay in,
as Mother told me. Below the window
theres a tank of golden fish that circle,
circle, following their own reflections.
I dip my fingers in to scoop one up,
watch it flip and shine, cool in my palm,
and press my face deep into the water.
Membranes slide across my thirsty eyes.
I breathe, and breathe, and breathe.
I snap: a sling-shot
of sinew, tendons whipped
to joints that buckle in lines as cleanly creased
as an origami crane. Poised on a tripod of paper tips,
I anticipate the wind but there is only steel
shearing bone and then it all unfolds
with a scritch-scratch and tickle
of segmented limbs sprouting,
barbed as berry-canes.
once fed on your skin;
sipped at honeyed pores
with a thousand tiny, hollow tongues
and those words you said, the ones that closed
like fists to cinch me mute but for this
thin-bodied whine: please
don't ever speak
They're predicting swarms
this summer: better batten down the hatches,
five hour energyi suppose
last week was only an aftershock
of the earthquake you were before.
this place used to vibrate
with metal strings and melodic,
testimonies to life,
emitting coffee-scented moods
and the burn of it too.
i had memorized the
sounds of silence,
i couldn't help but relish it.
no longer had i known
the sounds of folk
and scent of mocha-
you became nothing more
than an echo of the laughter
i so desperately needed to hear again.
then the echoes got louder,
bouncing ferociously off the walls
to be made manifest
i walked into your room
expecting exactly what i found-
an unmade bed,
and an empty beer
(the one that you insisted you needed
just days ago).
i pressed my nose
into the pillow
for incense and cologne and starbucks
to penetrate my mind
and thinking fervently
i already know
what a clean sheet smells like."
how strong an aftershock can be,
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scheinbar is a much-loved and well-known deviant. Just one look at her gallery, filled with enchanting photography, will have you mesmerized. A deviant for over 7 years, Christiane can always be found posting inspirational features as well as regularly commenting on other deviations and encouraging and empowering her fellow deviants. We are inspired and insist that you too stop by and congratulate ... Read More