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Soaking wet, lying on the cold, wet ground, she knew she’d end up there. Spending her days staring at clocks, wishing for things she didn’t have and regretting things of her past, sleeping only to dream about the life she craved; her fate was so clear. Who knows what triggered it…
Minutes before, she was leaning against the window of her apartment building, sheltered from the rain, smoking her last cigarette. There she was. Big dark eyes, seemingly tranced, staring out into an abyss. She looked as if she was mindlessly glaring at her reflection in a mirror, completely ignoring her worth. Strangers walking by could feel her emptiness conquer their surrounding. Dropping her cigarette on the ground, she began walking towards the gates, neglecting the rain; that foreign mask stayed on. She began pacing faster. And faster. Running toward that empty field, tears swelled up in her emotionless eyes. Looking almost crazed, she threw her body on the damp ground, surrendering herself to the night’s suffocating grip.
pucker for me, babe:
break loose twelve bars fluttering solo
thru bent notes and fish-lip
pentatonics. i want glissando,
the electric meow of sirens, a junkyard
angel’s catcall singular as gospel truth.
lay your banjo screeching pizzicato
into my palm, soften twelve-string ballads
with your teeth, malleable like gold leaf.
you could make chocolate melt
with that syntax, could erect
a bonfire seance for your cherokee
ancestors. belt trying again. sing it like
sculpting a dove out of butter,
like throwing a corn husk doll into
the wide open prairie, searching for it
barefoot, skirts hitched. i know
you’re from oklahoma, babe, but
i don’t think you’re a hillbilly. you can
borrow my clothes, i promise;
you can sing love notes on the porch
when our feet are lying together (wife
& wife), folded upwards like casual
prayer to the sky. i’ll tell you who
loves you the best, but i won’t tell you
POETRY: KAYE DUCKWORTH
change | ch ānj|*
1 the act or instance of making or becoming different
• the substitution of one thing for another
• an alteration or modification
She looked at him with an expression that made him laugh. Not out of entertainment but out of nervousness.
They had been living together for seven years now, married for two of those. They met when she was twenty and he twenty-seven. They were both writers at the time, but now she relied on bartending, and he on freelance photography.
Today was any other day. It was a little past noon and they both sat at the kitchen counter drinking coffee. He reached for a blueberry muffin as she reached for the morning paper. Their hands gently touched for a split second, and in that second it seemed as if she had been struck by lightning. She physically jumped from her seat and her eyes shot open with anxiety. At first he thought perhaps something had happened, a shock he didn’t feel. But as she lowered her hand onto the counter, he realized what it was.
They had been dating for three years now. A week ago he asked her to move in with him. She hesitated and didn’t answer him, but tonight at dinner, she will finally put him out of his misery.
“Do you know what my worst fear is?” She asked in a challenging manner with piercing eyes.
“Mm..you were always afraid of heights..” He responded waiting for a signal to see if he was heading in the right direction, but no such luck.
“Well, yes, I’m afraid of heights..” She responded taking a sip of her Shiraz, careful not to let her accident-prone ways spill even a drop of wine onto her ivory dress. “But my worst fear is waking up after fifteen years or so of marriage, next to the person I’ve promised to spend the rest of my life with, and realizing I don’t love them anymore.”
He had just finished cutting off a piece of his steak, but his hand was frozen in midair, the fork feeling heavier by the second. He finally nodded in understanding and placed the piece in his mouth.
She observed how his eyes would not meet hers, and the way his fast chewing habits had become heavy slow movements. She took another sip and waited.
They would finish their dinner that night in silence, and the next day she would move in with him.
*definition from Oxford American Dictionaries