She Takes the Bus

I’m watching her eat, gathering soup with a spoon from the far side of the bowl, a precise calculation, is she educating me? But I’m remembering it wrong, when did we order soup? Was it the chicken soup I placed before her at my kitchen table, under the grandmother curtain, the night she needed soup, or in the loud bar that late evening when she was hungry, I was hungry and the weather was changing, and the soup wasn’t good, but maybe hot enough. Another time I made soup from the bone broth in my freezer. I put a clump of fresh thyme tied with string, and left it in too long, and the watercress turned to slime, along with the parsley, but the carrots were memorable, she winces at my telling her this, the thought of those living greens turning, is she seducing me? I’ve a steaming bowl of wanton soup in front of me now, which I won’t finish, she’ll be eating it tomorrow reheated, and I’ll pick up her bus tickets from my rug.


She Leaves Antiperspirant Residue

On my bathrobe. It’s a one-size I purchased from a Salvation Army, the same one Magnum P.I. wore, I imagine. I bought it in Hawaii, too, and now I put it on after the shower and catch the scent from which I comprehend actual time-release. And I suspect she isn’t bothered by the word extreme when choosing the items she consumes. It’s all part of a tapestry of surreal negotiations of trust. It’s all part of a quilt of conscience she is making.


She Handles Extraordinary Impasses

With the skill of a faith healer.  She embraces what another manufactures for themself and relates to that fabrication, which is only a contrivance in the personality of the Original. In this case the Original is her faith in the authenticity of that personality. That personality was manufactured from the start by the Original. And now she is castigated for not breaking through to an underpinning, not shattering the mirror she didn’t know she needed to shatter. But then she didn’t want to yet.


She Bakes Flourless Cakes

There are bags of pulverized everything on the shelves which she can use to make a cake. We wander opposite ends of a supermarket: I in the dim-lit bottles section, seeming to subsist on cheap red wine, while she in the vegetables selecting mounds of wet leafy greens. We will spend too much anyway, and I will make a fuss before the magic happens. She never makes a fuss until the magic is spent. Her fortitude is in the suspense. Her resolve lies somewhere between the magic and her imagination.


M. D’Alessandro


M.D’Alessandro is a writer, teacher, publisher and printer. He edits the semiannual literary journal swap/concessions, and is the founder of bedouin books. He has been published in various journals and is the author of two books of poetry.

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