A Misplaced MemoryIrina Oren (Wilcox…Oren-Wilcox?) glows, inside and out. Having just arrived for her own wedding reception (my wedding, she kept saying to herself, with increasing hysteria), she kisses Michael enthusiastically on both cheeks and the lips and, apologizing profusely to everyone, rushes to the ladies' room to get her first elated look at herself as a married woman.The restroom is way too big, way too lavender, and way too plush for a restroom. The mirror is floor-length and takes up the entire wall beside the prissy row of sinks. Her eyes flit around her own reflection. Flushed cheeks – check. Lace and little flowers – check. Golden band on fourth finger of the left hand – check. She practices flashing her wedding smile. White teeth – check. Perfect posture – check. Empty eyes – check. Fuck. There it is again. That politician's wife smile. That ugly disappointment and plastic happiness.She doesn't understand it. Her joy had felt so alive in tha
InsomniaYou asked me how I feltas I sat below you in my thoughtsand I confessed to you my dreadthat I had broken something beautiful.I sat on the curb for hoursin the embryonic morningand the city told me its secrets:A woman walking backwardsthrough the alleyways, determinedtoward a destination she could not see;a man sitting in the road, his bare chestcaved and heaving in the humidity.Later, I returned to the placewhere the broken pieces layAnd I pulverized them beyond recognition,having realized that they meant nothing to me.
StuckI have begun to write in penfor confidence.Day after dayof dirty ruminationI am not yet ready for the universe.I have chosen to sit outside todayand deny myself the comfortsof an enclosed and lonely space.The red-brown trees, sheddingdroplets of water and showersof snow. The white sun reachingout of the black tangle of arms.A strand of spider silk, stretchedbetween the cracked wooden picketsof my perch. My feet on the planks,shifting in the dirt and ash and pine needlesfilthy and pink from the sharp air,which nudges gently at the encasement,pushes through to me,unsettles the coat of dullnessthat has held me underfor months now.
StarbrightGood night, late spring.The sun's already sunkfar behind the hillwith the willow,the last of the lightfighting over the crest,eclipsed by the leaves'inkstampsilhouettes.I dream of rain.I wrapmy fingersaroundthe throatof the sky,ashen withtwilight,and it chokeson my phantomstormclouds.I dreamI have seenmy last sunand humthe world's requiembefore the night's first starawakens in the southwest,breaking the matte darkness,betraying my conceit.