Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Virgin


Alone by Lyle

The Virgin slept. Wept. Crept throughout the vacant house. Her vacuous mind. The Virgin was no longer a virgin, abstinence and emptiness being not-quite the same thing. She had no thoughts. Her head filled itself constantly with tears. Then it became heavy with sleep and when she woke in the night on the floor she woke in puddles. The Virgin was alone. Immaculate conception. The Virgin did not dream. Her knees scraped on the floor and were scabbed. The Virgin did not dream.

***

Vows by Forrest

In leaving too soon, getting up and searching down the road for what he thinks is her, he forgets the other woman by his side. It is close to evening when he returns empty-handed, the same as his companion in plaster. The day keeps its promise.

***

The Best Lack All Conviction by Bill

There is no time out the other side. There is only this stuff condensed here in the middle, sometimes rich and sweet like angelcream and other times the milk's gone bad. Looking on, she sings the song, we’re on our way back home. Nothing worth knowing isn’t already written on our skin, the pluripotent stems talking to the world in the language of disease and demons, microbes and bacteria. Nothing worth the time it takes getting to the outside of the world, coursing a track on the rim of the atmosphere. The life we have in place is calling out cues on the falling action of our lives, afraid the climax is just pastiche in the end, a summation in detournemental existence taking life one groundhog day at a time.

***

The Poet by Alan

She was looking for the vehicle, a way to encapsulate the notion that whet the embers of her mind’s heart. Long afternoons in New England summers, uncut grass, the promise of new light. There are things that fray the maps of our inner architecture, transform mood, lift the veil so we can see again. And there are things that darken in this world.

In the front yard was a well, and on the walls of that well sat a little blackbird. She would sing to it, and it would sing back. There conversation would echo below for what seemed like miles. Miles of space always seem longer in blackness. The road is always longest when you can’t see an end.

Purity is one thing, but dedication is another. Purity the anchor. Dedication the boat. The yard shifted beneath her as she wrote. The tenor. The tenor. The tenor. The thing we all long for. The thing is singing. It perches and sings. “Hope,” she began to write (in little fences), “is the thing with feathers” and then dashed indoors.

***

Old Adirondak by Johanna

The red Adirondak chair my grandpa built has been painted three times. I know this because I like to curl into a ball in the chair's lap and lay my cheek on its back to look real close at the cracks where sun and hail have chipped away to the green below. And in well-worn spots like the arm rests you can see all the way to white. In the morning, I sit here like this and listen to my mother humming in the garden, her big hat shading her shoulders as she leans into the rake or shovel or seeds. The early sun feels good on my legs and glistens on the blonde fuzz of my thighs. I want to sleep here or stay here all day in anticipation of growing up.

In the afternoon, the arm rest is hanging from the chair where a nail came loose but I don't have any tools to fix it with. This patch of dirt my roommates call a yard is fenced in so completely that I could be anywhere except for the sounds of the neighborhood – barking dogs, yelling mothers, a gunshot or car backfire. I lean deeply into the chair and try not to think of the diner I have to go back to in the morning to wait tables for measly tips or my ex-boyfriend who keeps texting me threatening to kill my cat. I wish for my mother.

In the evening, I am taking a few moments to myself while the baby sleeps. I have painted the chair royal blue to match the front door of the house but it will not fit on my porch so I keep it down here by the steps. I have had three glasses of wine so far, maybe four, and I want another. I imagine my body lifting off from this blue wooden frame. I am finally feeling relief from the day's routine of laundry, cooking, washing, watching and the baby begins to cry. I ignore him. He continues to cry.

It is nearly dark now, but this is my favorite time to garden. It is cool enough for my loose skin that likes to hide from sunshine and heat. I am sitting on a plastic stool my son bought for me to help me better reach the vegetable beds. It wobbles when I lean in. I look up and see that old Adirondak. Broken in three places it still survives, kind of like myself. I can't sit in it anymore, can't get out of it, but I like to see it there, looking back at me. I pull at the weeds, pull and tug, resisting like the muscles in my back. Each one I pull away at clears the memories that seep in when I relax and begin dreaming. The weeds release their roots, the soil crumbles around them.