Life As a Cliché
So trite, my boss, stereotypically balding, puts his hands on my shoulder while I was processing words instead of word processing. Are you some kind of writer? he asks. When I don’t answer, his hands move up to play with my earrings, which dangle parallel to my cheekbones. Can you work late tonight? He wants to know.
So, I had to fuck him. Certainly, I can’t support myself off my anemic symbolism, my flabby free verse. I need to keep my clerical skills employed.
So the next morning, during dictation, in my embroidered white blouse, crisp to the point of snapping, I remain unaltered. Our eyes meet: his loaded with metaphor; mine without the least suggestion of allusion.
My children drowned. 16 months ago. 2 years ago. 6 years ago.
My children, just as naked, as now, just as submerged back when we moved through the uncertainty of shelters, sustained by government crumbs, their father is not my husband.
The voices talk, pharmaceutical extractions mute the voice shout.
Are there sharks under the golden gate?
I drive to the bridge God is there, but he blinks. I strip my babies and listen to the smell of the bay. It fills me, the soft rays illuminate. I do it again. Once more.
In your news reports, please include: I’m drowning too.
by Jan Stinchcomb
... It's strange to see your own space abandoned, in black and white. I leaned in to get a better look but it was all wrong ...
by Morgan LaRocca
... They sometimes call you a twig / as if you could ever crack, / but i do believe inside / you are always fresh, and green ...