That spring, I was ready to drop piano lessons. I wanted free school day afternoons. I wanted to be driven far out of town in beat-up jalopies at high speeds. Put on greasy lipstick dark as bitter chocolate so that some boy would think I was at least fifteen. I wanted to dangle a lit cigarette and drink gin and gingers in roadside dives, like in the movies. I wanted the boy behind the wheel to say, “Hey, you’re cool and sassy for a girl.”
My mother didn’t fancy my growing up so fast. She said, “Give it one more summer, honey.” Meaning the piano.
I crumbled. “Okay, but that’s it.”
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Jesus lay between my breasts on my 18ct cross. My future husband fell in love with Jesus before he fell in love with me, but I married him, anyway.
I always wanted to marry a man like my father. Someone who would protect me when screen doors unhinged from their wooden frame and flew across our farm. A man who ran toward flames in January and February and returned home with singed hair and face covered in soot. A man who sat still, silent, letting my voice take center stage when I needed to be heard.
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I live in the lavender gut of a horse, a beating heart just beyond the wall. And beyond that two old ladies sip tea on a white porch in the crabapple South, hoping for something that might squirrel up out of the ground, the age-old ground, the Southern ground, the ground at the top of a hill: a thin line of angels listening all boneless and hospitable from above, managing nothing with their tiny, modest, angel hands, hands that might just as well be days of the week. The long-gone Civil War is wearing a small red-and-gold cap once worn by an organ grinder’s monkey.
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“Another milkshake please.”
The waitress eyes her with disbelief. Catalogues her stained-through hoodie and greasy hair. Not that the waitress has room to judge with her own issues: a slight hunchback and blisters covered by her platform flats that she most certainly did not purchase in the 90’s and definitely do not smell with age.
“Another one, girly? Don’t you want some food?”
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The following is an excerpt chapter from Ms. Never (published November 1, 2019) by Colin Dodds, whose poetry was previously published here at Visitant. The most recent description of Ms. Never: Ms. Never is the story of a woman with apocalyptic depression, and a man who buys human souls using the terms of service in […]
Read more "Ms. Never | Joel’s Last Night, First Night – A Short Story"
The Stick Dawn is doing dawn, breaking its yolk. At the bank of the Trinity there is oneness. It is in small part, about the destiny of a conifer branch, cracked in an early winter’s wind. At the shoreline, its rhythm laps at the graveled bank, bald as a drumstick, thick as a child’s innocent […]
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Below is Part 9 of 16 monthly installments for Visitant. ◄◄ Read the prologue / introduction ◄ Read Part 8: Holding Patterns: Dowries Lateral dots et alia, I ditch anterior peruke, reconfigure dorsal ballast, and streamline for cultural pursuits as sleuth Dot Motley, Esq. Suited in dated sharkskin, I minimize drag and launch forward in full […]
Read more "The Jill Hill | Deep Nectar: Rendezvous"
This is a Dove This is a dove, I think. I’ve never been good at bird identification. That’s funny, now that my job is picking up dead ones killed by the windmills’ spinning blades. There are 60 windmills in this “wind farm,” lots of dead birds. I think I might get a book. I mean, […]
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Below is Part 7 of 16 monthly installments for Visitant. ◄◄ Read the prologue / introduction ◄ Read Part 6: Rosemary Tisane: Cautionary Aura Divisa in partes tres, divided into three parts, Gaius Julius Caesar Most folks hear the word Caesar and think salad, but Gaius Julius (100-44 B.C.) was a conqueror talking all Gaul—France, […]
Read more "The Jill Hill | Twist: In Parts"
Overnight Mom’s short-term memory no longer tethers one moment to the next, so I’m at the hospital to stay overnight with her following breast cancer surgery. Though she still has moorings in the distant past, recent events float quickly to a further shore, so my job is to keep retying her to a drifting present. […]
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