Friday, November 21, 2008

Collapse. by Rose Pleuler

by Rose Pleuler

Sorry I left that pile of dust in the bath tub,
but this sort of thing comes on with very little warning.
Under the splinters of a hot shower on a morning
so cold that my hands were bruised a dull purple,
I could feel bits of me
harden like a clay shell beneath the heat
and begin tighten and tighten on me
as it dried, until even the slight twitch of my wrist
caused tearing up the seams of my body,
making way for deeper cracks
that echoed redness
and sectioned my skin off into sharp platelets
that scraped against each other,
each section a piece to an ancient mechanism
that produced the same metal shards,
sliding into dry piles on the cold porcelain,
that you left in a clump at the back of my throat.
The metal taste in my mouth was getting strong,
and I'm sorry for when I say
I would rather be hardened, tightened, dried, torn, cracked, and scraped,
than have you
repair me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Imbedded by Lucy Morgan

by Lucy Morgan

Ruth has been waking up in the same bed on top of the same sheets for decades and she's been heart broken for almost as long, but on this Thursday morning she still startles awake with the expectation that a man will be asleep in the space next to her, and of course she is disappointed, so she walks quickly out of her bedroom to the immediate kitchen where the coffee she prepared the night before waits to meet the warmth of her dry throat and sticky morning teeth, swallows, and quickly hurries out the front door to the immediate driveway where her blue pickup truck is parked, forces the ignition to turn, and makes her way down a long dirt road until she reaches the only gas station in Rumney, New Hampshire - the one where she spent most summer nights working as a teenager, the one she inherited from the owner when he died of old age- and after she unlocks the front door she waits a moment before turning on the lights but when she does she finds that the shelves are stocked just as they were the day before, so she plants her feet behind the cash register and waits for it to be 7am, but the first customer turns out to be someone who doesn't feel intimidated by Closed Sign; it turns out to be Bill's son, the Bill who died in his vegetable garden at age forty-eight, and Ruth startles at the sight of his old face on the young boy as he says hi, asks if she remembers him, embraces her, and explains that he's been living about five hours away ever since things went wrong, and that he's leaving for college in the big city tomorrow morning, so he thought it might be good for him to visit Rumney one last time before he goes, and Ruth immediately thinks of her bed sheets and for the first time in her life she knows what is in store for her so she turns the Closed Sign on the door to Open, says goodbye to the boy, and kisses him hard on the mouth.