Mr. and Mrs. Medusa at the Macy’s Perfume Counter

Mr. and Mrs. Medusa at the Macy’s Perfume Counter

She stood in the front
Of the silver and black glass counter.
Her fingers ransacked the perfume,
Stone skin reflecting in the onslaught
Of mirrored ads and a solo saleswoman –
Ms. Fake Green Eyes was fond
Of a particular smell called Trauma or Mercy,
Some obscure name meant
To bore temptation like eggs from an roc’s nest.

Fake Eyes presses down on the black and gold
Spray top, a mist pours down onto my wife’s wrist,
The aftershock of a coastal storm – two presumed lost.
Nose, mouth crinkle as a unified front,
Blonde hair unfurls, cast down her shoulders grasp.
Their eyes meet for the first and last time.
Green Eyes hold up another bottle,
Light rips through it off the gaze of the Gorgon.
Nothing. No silent death. Then another bottle.
She has become an armorer in a useless search
to find just the right blade.

This continues for another fifteen minutes.
Like watching the scorpion’s kiss find Thallo
Over and over. No further eye contact is made,
Just one finger overlaid on the edge of the glass,
on the red nailed finger of the saleswoman
leaving the lesson of anger and eternity.
She turns and walks away, hair moves in unison,
Down the linoleum pathway towards
the woman’s clothing department. Behind her
Everything living returns to its fleshy existence.


C.L. Liedekev is a writer/propagandist who lives in Conshohocken, PA with his real name, wife, and children. He attended most of his life in the Southern part of New Jersey. His work has been published in such places as Humana Obscura, Red Fez, Open Skies Quarterly, River Heron Review, and Vita Brevis. His real goal is to make the great Hoboken poet/exterminator Jack Wiler proud. So far, so good.

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