Sandy toes and
Rock wall towers
Salt stung sunburn on
Hot flesh resting
Asleep for hours.
Tight cased skin
Relief awash within
To wash away
A troubled mind
Sandy toes and
Rock wall towers
Salt stung sunburn on
Hot flesh resting
Asleep for hours.
Tight cased skin
Relief awash within
To wash away
A troubled mind
(Disclaimer – I wrote this about 10 years ago, in my teens)
I’m tape recording angels
Singing silent night in heaven.
I’m tape recording Elvis
Jamming guitars with John Lennon.
I’m tape recording silences
Louder than your scream.
I’m tape recording what you say
But never what you mean.
I’m listening in on conversations
Between Freud and Einstein.
I hear Mozart touch a note
That breaks the barriers of time.
I hear Jim Morrison and Dali
Discuss interpretations of desire.
There are open skies of clear blue sea
And water logged rings of fire.
There’s an uncommon place to sit down by the wharf where the old ships still come in to port. It’s where Winston sits on cold days when it doesn’t rain. Winston sits with propped up hand upon darkened cane and his weather worn wooden leg peering out from beneath the hem of rolled up trousers.
Its a curious position there, by the harbour, for the seat does not look upon the waving changes in the ocean as it meets with the piers beside; instead this seat looks upon the cemented grounds where people might meet and move on to restaurants and boulevards which adorn the port. Children often run and squeal and mark the pavement with sticky ice cream hands and brown knees while their parents mull over coffee and look out over the murky coloured water ahead.
This is what Winston watches as he waits.
Winston waited here, on his own for many years until Beatrice began sitting beside him.
Beatrice belonged to Shady Green, an expensive village for people ‘of age’ and she would arrive by bus every Tuesday and Thursday. They all would. The rest of them armed with frames and wheelchairs, canes and borrowed arms for balance. Like an army of grey and white bobbing heads they would find a place amongst the throng in the old Blue Rose Cafe. Where they would seat and feast upon chicken parmiganas and fried fish as they drink diluted teas with small chocolate heart treats for afterwards.
Beatrice had none of that. Beatrice would waltz off the bus, chin in the air, her head far above the bobbing brigade of grey and sit next to Winston with a homemade sandwich and thermos not even deigning to look across at the gathering of her bus toting brethren.
Winston loved Beatrice the first day he watched her immaculate brown sandals flip flop off the bus and her round sashaying bottom perch itself a hands width away from Winston, such was the room on the seat for the two of them.
Beatrice pretended not to see Winston and continued to eat her ham and salad sandwich and sip delicately at the pungent black coffee in the dark green top from her thermos.
If it were fifty years earlier Winston would have peppered her questions. He might ask where she was from, what she was out doing that day and perhaps a cheeky suggestion of a date to come. But time had taught Winston that people of his age (just shy of eighty three) enjoyed basking in the pasts great story but weren’t so engaging when talking about the now.
So Winston waited and he arrived promptly at nine twenty every Tuesday and Thursday out by the dock, facing away from the water, just to sit quietly next to Beatrice at nine thirty.
It was the highlight of his week.
He could smell her soap mixed with salty sea breeze and watch her long fingers wrap around the warmth of her cup and pursed lips relax to open and engage the sandwich of choice into her mouth.
Winston always smiled when Beatrice walked purposely over, and she would pretend he hadn’t.
Winston didn’t care, he loved to smile.
One morning, the seventh time Winston and Beatrice sat in silence, Winston broke ranks and in his firm warm timbre of a voice, greeted her, “Fancy seeing you here, fine lady.”
Beatrice fumbled at the wrapping on the days tuna fish sandwich, her thermos fell to the side and rolled to the ground with a great ‘twang’ of metal upon cement and both Winston and Beatrice reached for it. Beatrice finally met his eye.
“What’s an old thing like you doing out here?” Beatrice clipped.
“I might ask you the same question.” He smiled and leaned back with both hands piled upon his cane.
That’s when Winston saw Beatrice’s smile. He could have sworn in just that moment, for just that second he had minor heart attack, but he knew his body and his ticker was not in any danger, except from the woman beside him.
“Winston.” Winston said matter of factly.
“Beatrice, you might call me Bea.” She kept her eyes on her food.
“I quite like Beatrice, I knew a Beatrice once; prettiest girl in town.” He looked over and watched Beatrice’s face, “I’d say you’re a good deal prettier.”
Beatrice lifted her lips in coy smile, “You old flatterer, I’ve met my share of you silver tongued rouges.”
“I’m sure you have Beatrice.” Winston leaned in close conspiratorially, “I’d say though that this one means his compliment.”
After that sweet connection Beatrice felt she hadn’t enough time to fill the space with all the words she wished to say to Winston and Winston basked in the glow of all the things she spoke of. As expected it was almost all about the past and the lives lived before the time of her being placed at Shady Green.
She was a fiery woman of great demand but soft to her grandchildren, unlike her expectations of her own children years before. She acknowledged this as learning but said no more.
She revelled in delight at the memories of her husband who died six years ago from a long term issue with a long term problem that she couldn’t quite find the words to name.
Often Beatrice would ask Winston questions and he would answer as best he could but cajoled Beatrice into her own world. Winston enjoyed the bright spark he saw behind those eyes, the stories of years long past.
Sandy days at the beach, stealing hot pies off her neighbourhood sills, building forts and making slingshots out of her fathers long forgotten waste heap. Her sisters golden laughter which rang strong until a case of measles struck and she lay washed out in the room they shared and slipped away quietly three nights before her eleventh birthday. She spoke of promises kept and broken, mending britches and wiping dirt and grass form her boys on an hourly basis during summers great heat. She recalled her roast dinners of lamb an duckling and the way she used to make the gravy just right for the potatoes. She reminisced about her daughters wedding and the day she watched her graduate from university and Beatrice’s own feeling of regret in not having pursued an education. Beatrice took up study after that and her husband was so proud he built her a special desk in the attic. Beatrice graduated university at the age of forty two, completing nursing and literature. She then taught mature aged students until she and her husband retired at sixty, he became ill soon after and when she watched him fade away it broke her.
Winston listened and loved the woman who began to share her sandwich with him and bring and extra cup to share her coffee.
It was a cool breeze the day Beatrice didn’t come. Winston watched the bobbing grey brigade exit and enter the bus. He waited longer just in case of something else, something different, before he took the trip to his own home in a shared village fifteen minutes walk away.
That was a Tuesday.
On the following Thursday as Winston watched the Shady Green folk exit the bus he saw a young blonde woman with name tag of ‘Rhonda’ walk toward him, and Winston’s breath was held. He raised his chin and watched the blonde young woman approach him. His wooden leg tapped nervously against the white cement beneath and his cane fell to the same rhythm.
“Hello, are you Winston?” Young Rhonda asked softly.
Rhonda smiled a smile full of regret and welled tears. Winston already knew what she would say, he knew it last Tuesday.
“I’m so sorry to tell you Winston but Beatrice had a bad fall,” Rhonda paused, “She didn’t make it.”
Winston nodded, so was the trouble with getting older. Watching friends old and new depart the world without the fanfare that warranted the celebration of their lives, like Beatrice. He had hoped she was granted the dignity she deserved.
“Her children are having a small quiet ceremony but just family I believe.” She informed him quietly.
Winston nodded again.
Young Rhonda took Winston’s shaking hand that rested atop his cane and knelt down to look him in the eye, “She spoke of you with such care and love Winston. She was rather fond you.” Her face streamed tears.
Winston found his own eyes stinging. He had long let go of the care of what others thought and let the tears slide down his old weathered cheeks. In his great warm timbre of a voice he said, “Thank you.”
“Would you care to join us?” Rhonda asked, nodding to grey crowd in the Blue Rose Cafe.
Winston smiled and shook his head. Rhonda nodded and walked away with a smile and two tear stained cheeks.
Winston waits on the seat still and watches the world go by, just as he did with Beatrice just as he will continue to do until it his time not to return.
The softest of spirits caresses in the lightest of nights through the rear facing window. The body in slumber doesn’t twitch, it doesn’t make a sound yet the touch is recognised, the moment known and the movement of skin beneath another’s fine life is drawn inexplicably into the internal memory of the living and never will it disappear.
Until this moment pain has had no fury, until this moment I have been without the urge to fall, until this moment I did not know my own abilities to weep and in it destroy soul and heart through the terrifying moment of loss, your loss and in itself my own loss for having gained you. Gone now, gone always, leaving me irrevocably alone.
There is a bright sky with perfect clouds outside and small sounds come from little birds twittering above the window. Slashes of light lay upon the daisy print cloth dangling loosely over an old wooden box that you had insisted we use for a bed side table for such a long time that we kept it even though it was replaced. I cry for the memory and feel the world is mocking me with daylight. I hide within the bed covers and only smell you, your skin – the musk of deodorant, the jasmine in the washing powder and your sweat, lingering in its sweetness and I wish so hard to be close to you again. For a minute I hate you for your stupid choices that led to this, but for a long time I sit with my eyes closed under a tent made of our bed sheets and remember the first day we lay within them together entangled and I pretend it still exists, somewhere in a place I can’t see.
It takes many days for me to leave the bedroom for any length of time. I find myself stopped by the phone as it rings. I watch the orange touch pad light up with the drawn out noise it should make if it weren’t on silent. I know there are messages of condolences, many messages and I can’t foresee a future where I might want to hear them, where I could actually bring myself to listen to someone else’s opinion of you in the past tense, it’s just not plausible – not yet.
I eat an apple as I stand in front of the phone watching the light pulse, yelling at me in complete silence. I become aware of my feet upon cold wooden floor boards and look around for somewhere to sit. I find our recliner facing one way and turn it around so I can still watch the phones light display. Sitting down upon its soft scarlet velour fabric I tuck my feet beneath myself, eyes fixed upon the phone. It eventually stops flashing but I decide to stay where I am.
I like sitting upon something which isn’t in the same position as it’s always been, you’ve never seen it this way and I like that. I look around the room and make plans with different layouts for the furniture we own and I ask you out loud if you agree and I can hear your answers. I hear you laugh when I think to put the couch near the kitchen again as I’ve tried many times before, but you never let me and you know I won’t do it now either.
The phone starts to blink its orange light again and I huddle into myself, close my eyes and see your face. Not the face I last saw you with, that comes at night unbidden, followed by sweats and yelling, insomnia and more tears. Instead I see the face that would welcome me in the morning, the face I met long ago on a train and the face that mocked me, loved me and sung me songs, quoted paragraphs from novels long forgotten. You belong with the old words now, the hero and the phantoms, you can reside within the pages along with them. But you haven’t gone at all; I know that. That’s why I can’t leave the house, because you haven’t left the house either.
I have a shower for the third time today, it gives me a reprieve from the outside world and I am glad we didn’t buy that house with the pool because I might have accidently drowned myself with waves of water just to wash away the world around me. I was standing in the shower crying earlier because all I could smell was your soap, lemongrass and tea tree, when I felt you kneel down to my huddled form and pull me up, hand upon my shoulder, arm around my waist. I felt light as a feather as you braced yourself against my fragile form and I could swear I heard breath in my ear as you exerted the energy it took to lift me. You let go and disappeared and I didn’t know what to do so I continued in the shower waiting for you, but you didn’t come back.
A week or so passes and I start to get dressed for the day. I have to do washing as all of my pyjamas have begun to smell rather awful. As soon as I put on a pair of jeans and a shirt I feel a little lighter and decide I might just do it again the next day. I begin eating more than just fruit and cereal, mainly due to running out of said items and I laugh at myself, like you laugh at me.
I stand in the middle of the house and stare at the scarlet seat facing the telephone (still on silent) whilst eating jam on toast when suddenly I decide to follow through with redecorating. I move the table, the sofa, the cabinet and the recliners, I shuffle the coffee table again and again but finally I have to push it out the front door and onto the porch, it just doesn’t go anywhere; out of sight out of mind. I look around at the mess of furniture laden thick with the luggage of memories of where it has been, where it should go and where it can’t go. Everything was ours, yours, mine. All of it makes me think of you, what you might be sitting upon as you smile at me working my way around a room. I tell you to go to bed. I say it out loud and demand it of you in the tone of voice you always say belongs in a classroom. Out loud I tell you that I have warned you and begin to move it all out the front door and when it no longer fits on our veranda I move it onto the lawn instead. Soon the entire contents of our lounge and dining rooms are on display upon the lawn at the front of our house. I sit down in the space left like an empty belly.
I crave a cigarette but I can hear your warning voice telling me not to. I remember you dragging me back to bed every time I wanted one when I quit years ago. You bribed me with sex, chocolate and my favourite TV shows. I quit then, but having quit for three years I now want one and I want a drink to match too; I want scotch. You’ve never enjoyed Scotch so we’ve never bought it. I used to drink it in the days before I drank wine with you. Without thought I grab the keys and walk outside. The sun screams terrible words at my dangerously sensitive eyes and for a minute I have to wait for the dots to disappear from my vision. I fumble at the front door lock then turn around. I realise the pointlessness of my having locked the house, anything of any value sits patiently out the front of our house anyway. I shrug a shrug directed at you and proceed to the car.
I am lucky I didn’t take any of the medication they offered to me, for sleeping for coping. I don’t want chemicals in my system anymore. It reminds me of you now, of that night and the blame I have for the bubbles in your system, the brew in your belly and the foam at your mouth which destroyed you. I wasn’t going to take another pill or powder as long as I lived. I could, however, drown myself in alcohol – that I have no qualms about.
I drive to the bottle shop nearby, buy a bottle of scotch and three packets of cigarettes. I drive past the shops we used to go to, but I couldn’t stand the faces of the people who knew me as yours, who knew my hand in your hand and our joint comments to the same question and the raised hand hellos to the friendly cashiers and fresh food tenders. I drive around a bit and find a shop we rarely visit. I buy fruit, bread, breakfast cereal and biscuits. My mind isn’t clear, it’s focused on the alcohol waiting in the car so I buy what I think I want to eat, but not necessarily what I need.
I sit cross legged in that gaping empty belly of a lounge/dining room with an old scotch glass we were given as a joint birthday present some years ago in a set of four, the bottle of old brown liquid, an ashtray and the remote control to the stereo. Earlier I moved the old stereo in and took all of our CD’s out of garage storage and put on music from long ago. Thrashy music I once loved, before you. All of those stupid melodic emotions from black clad men trying to express an esoteric love. I listen to Big Band and Bebop jazz, loud crazy numbers you never really enjoyed. I like having CD’s again, not just a computer or a small player, I like to make my selection by flicking through clicky-clacky cases. When I have drunk enough scotch I stop thinking of you as much, instead I think of what I might do next and I like it.
I wake up to thudding on the front door I actually locked last might, familiar echoy, voices and sunshine without your smell. I also wake up with what feels to be a large elephant crushing my head onto a hard surface and glimpse an almost empty bottle at eye level, resting on wooden floor boards so close to me that its blurry, but I know what it is. I finished off three quarters of a bottle the night before and I am just quietly proud of myself for the commitment I showed, regardless of the outcome. The door bashes some more and voices rage on. I consider the prospect of possibly opening it when rather suddenly someone discovers the open back door and comes barging in anyway, swearing at me and trying the help me off the floor. I fight back, hit them, tell them to fuck off but they pull anyway. I punch them again and feel my fist hit something with a thud and I am happy, they let go. I stand up and go to the bathroom, three voices ask me what I am doing and I tell them to fuck off again.
They stand around me like parents with their arms crossed, talking about me like I’m not in the room. I sit on my area in the middle of the big open space and smoke cigarettes, making the house fill up with wispy bits of smelly brown smoke only for it to get dragged away out of the newly opened, sunshine laced windows and to the bigger, wider world. They yell at me while I stare ahead, they are self righteous and demanding and I’ve never responded to demanding. I can almost feel you against my arm as you sit beside me and tell me they might be here to help me, I ignore you but you turn up your volume and I can’t do a damn thing because hitting you or yelling isn’t going to work. If only you were sitting here, you would tell them to go away, you would tell them that if there was anything that needed to be done you would do it for me. But you can’t say that and you can’t be here because if you were, this would not be happening. I understand the paradox before I even consider it all and I smile to myself as I think that way, because that’s you, all you.
Finishing off a cigarette I reach for another. They stop talking and I know they are watching but I don’t care. I light up, inhale the familiar freedom and exhale a satisfied breath and continue to look away from them and through the window that shows vivid green outside. You planted all of that, you kept it alive, I couldn’t. You said I have a black thumb and always forget to water things. I am transfixed by the hues shining through the window and sense myself getting up off floor. I can almost feel your fingers wrap in mine and walk with me outside. My legs feel light and I just keep staring at green waving palms and large shining leaves and tiny purple flowers hidden within sunshine and for the first time since you were gone I feel something more. The three people are following me, I can here clip-clop shoes that aren’t mine because I haven’t worn shoes for weeks. I push the French door open and step onto warm wooden planks and I stand there, bathed in sunlight, surprised by the way natural heat makes me melt. Everything in the garden is swaying and I can’t help but move to its intrinsic music and I walk very slowly down three wooden steps to a little bit of grass and an old white seat. I sit upon the seat and run a hand across its smooth, cool metal surface and I laugh. I look down at my other hand and the cigarette, I inhale again and look around for a place to put it out. I take a tissue from my pocket, spit in it and extinguish the cigarette within. I couldn’t possibly tarnish your beauty, for all of this is entirely you.
I knew you hadn’t left me, here you are in the daisies, here you are in the green, here you are in the scarlet roses, and there you are amongst the ferns, I smell jasmine on the wind and lemongrass in the herb garden sitting alongside tea tree. I see it all as if I hadn’t seen it before, and truly I never really have, not until now. I breathe you in; the mist of memory hanging amongst the flowers and I know you’ll never leave. You sit with me here in the garden, you sit in the trees, the flowers and the hidden creatures meant to reside within your make believe world, I see a gnome amongst the brush and a clay turtle near my toes. I smile, I laugh, I feel sun, I feel wind, I smell life.
I have you, you may be gone but I still have you.
Frayed bindings and a soft leather cover
Sharing the wisdom of those before
Careful hands of curious wonder
Eager, fruitful pages baring more
Sing the song that once was sung
With fervour thick and strong
Read ageless bridled tongue
Contemplate the social wrongs
Make considerate exceptions
And remember what once occurred
With every warped perception
Hides a knowledgeable word
Inhale its essence within the page
Breathe lightly and listen well
For every piece of advice thought sage
Deserves time for another retell
(Disclaimer – despite being in first person this is a fictional short story)
The wine glass, like a defiant statue on my table top, displays the iridescent brown shine of my lipstick print like a crushed leaf. It is a testament to the day I’ve had, the year I’ve lived and the heaviness I feel. Ultimately it is the proof of the groundless thought that to take it all away one bottle of wine and one packet of cigarettes would suffice.
Two bottles of wine and half a pack of cigarettes later and I feel nothing close to better, more numb and empty as I trace the digits of a once forgotten number on the old dial pad of a long abused home phone. There is a part of me, such a large gaping part of me, which tempts those fingers to press upon the numbers hard enough and feel the brail marks upon each pad of my fingertips because to dial that number would mean I had contact, with him.
There is so much more to that contact than a simple pressing of digits and a waiting of answer. There is more to his responding voice than the subtle timber of anxious assurance and the knowledge the call probably interrupted a great thought, a great sound, a great image that he was capturing momentarily. In the second that he picks up he will sigh and teh caller will know that a great many things might have occurred if they hadn’t pushed those buttons in that sequence to interrupt that moment for him.
Absent minded, I thumb my ring finger, caress the deep groove that long ago displayed a ring. Not one of any precious metal but a blue plastic which was retrieved from a ‘magic ball’ dispenser at the grocery store three blocks from our old apartment, his apartment. The ring has its place, in an aging jewellery box at the bottom of some crate holding old books and letters with terribly written, misguided intentions within.
I push the phone away and take the last of the bottle in my hand and drink hard and fast and make my head shudder. With heavy steps, making me feel like I am wading in water, I get to the kitchen bench and to a pad of paper and pen. In words that I think appear legible, I write the thing I hate the most – You.
I then decide upon all the things I hate about the subject.
I hate your small mouth that never opened quite enough.
I hate your small mind that only saw the widest concepts through the smallest lens.
I hate your eyes which made me feel more insignificant than, than…anything small and insignificant. Like ants, yes, ants.
I hate your ripped jeans and worn shirts and shoes, why did you hide your feet in those boots?
I hate your boots.
I hate your piles and mounds and heaped up things of paper; like what you have to write down and think about is so much more clever than my own that you had to make sure you noted it all. Stupid notebooks.
I hate the way you would laugh at people who weren’t as smart as you but kept quiet if confronted. You never spoke your mind to them but screamed those opinions at me.
You, you’re stupid.
The last word was pressed so hard it ripped through the page and made scratches in the wood where it firmly displayed the dignity I lost in having thought of you again.
I can imagine him there in our old apartment, on a messy floor, surrounded by black and white photographs of mundane things. He took photos of my legs wrapped up in curtains as I slid to the floor. Another photo of me pushed against a park bench, hair wrapped around old metal work and wooden seat, yelling at him to let me up. He captured those moments well, too well.
But he always did that; liking me at my darkened depths, enjoying me at the edge of my soul and wanting me there like that all of the time. I’m not something to be used as a weight, to keep him down in the depths needed so that he might live.
That’s the problem with artists like him, only wanting the raw emotions, not able to stand the tenderness and comfort of living for the future, or the now or the greater good. It’s not enough that the world exists, to them it’s the world existing only for them to their pleasure.
I watch the phone from across the room and open another bottle, place a new cigarette in my mouth and hope that the idea of being happy will always outweigh the feeling of being with him, because after one more bottle I am not quite sure it will this time.
The fabric of old lace wears down fingers,
She rubs her identity bare as she listens
To the talks and whispers of so many
About her and their glaring opinions
“What is to be done of the girl in the room?”
“She’s done it herself, she isn’t a wife.”
“What is to be done with the child she bares?”
“Why cant we just cut it – coathanger and knife?”
The warm woollen skirt she tucks over her knees
Is moving about with nervous shakes
Her blouse is the highest she has ever worn
Suddenly very aware of the appearance she makes
“Why cant we send her away for eight months?”
“Give her a brew to flush it and go.”
“Where is the man that made all this too?”
“It’s not in his body, he needn’t know.”
The thin little hairs in her arms are rising
She wishes not to stay to hear anything else
Her chattering teeth are making a sound
No one has asked what she’d do for herself.
“Send her away to her fathers whip and reactions.”
“Her mother will get anxious and flustered”
“She should have been kept inside all this time.”
“This is why women cannot be trusted!”
Her choices start now as she calms down her legs
Her handkerchief still and her heart set
She manages movement and half of a smile
Deciding to face the challenge she’s met
Suddenly burst of rage as the door opens
A mans bothered face demands “in you come”
Its final, instead she turns away with conviction
And finds her own feet as she runs
You smell of wood smoke and beer. Your hair is splayed against the cushion you lean against; its waves fan out unintentionally. If I were laying against that cushion, and you were watching me, I would intentionally splay my hair, but you don’t because you don’t care. I’m leaning against your bent leg and you don’t understand what this means, or perhaps you do. The fire is getting a bit too hot and I want to move onto the couch but I don’t want to lose this bridge I’ve made, this bridge to you. It’s a delicious physical contact that I relish and you’d never instigate, but curiously never really pull away from.
The low thudding in the bass of the music we are listening to reverberates through my legs and chest and I look over at you with your eyes closed, mouthing words. I think you’re drunk but I can’t tell, I can never tell. I do know when it’s gone too far and you slur your words, can’t walk properly and talk like a disgruntled old man, your eyes downcast trying to find purchase against familiar objects to get outside for the fresh air you crave, just to light another smoke again and watch the night sky. I’d follow, usually after a few minutes, but it’s only into silence because you aren’t a big talker like this.
You’re a joker, and had there been an audience you would regale them with a tale or two, condemnation against so many and the embarrassing moments that sting your ego but have such wicked laughs in their re-telling.
I couldn’t be with you, I know this. I couldn’t handle all of it. I couldn’t be with someone who doesn’t remember the night, every night. I couldn’t handle having no attention from someone I need to know sees me, and you wouldn’t, I know you wouldn’t.
I can’t help but see you, every time.
Cut off your face
To spite your nose
Tell another lie
To make it grow
Sweep the thug
Under the rug
Let it fester
Let it rot
Let it become
The thing you are not
Then wear in irony
What once was seen
To be believed
You throw it away
With your identity
I am so relieved
Agnes lives in a world of paper. It is a world without movement, only still life, single little pieces which form at her whim and live in a scene of her creation. Agnes has a secret, she does not cut the pieces with scissors, she bites them, curling her tongue around each shape, making slender folds and gentle rips until with teeth pressed together she can form the head of a bird, a donkey or perhaps the slender back of a supine man. Agnes feels that with every tear and every lick she is a part of the creatures she creates. They lay before her and she can see them move without her touch, as if her insides have made them real, where the soft feathered sides thank her for the love she took in making them, the edges so perfect in their form that she relishes their taste, which still lingers upon her sensitive palette as her tongue often weeps blood for the pain which creates the figures in front of her.
Agnes has a box, in fact, Agnes has many boxes all around her house and each box has a paper display of figures and of plants, animals and houses and of trains and tables and little tiny dresses and wee matching shoes with buttons. All of them painstakingly licked and torn and bitten to existence and if one were to take down the box, one could put together a scene of such complexity that in its creation you would find Agnes’ memories laid out in paper overlay, one scene of many intricate pieces; such tiny little fragments of creation.
Agnes keeps her heart in little boxes and lives in a world of paper.