Lagartija: Fast Fiction



(Bistro 13)

There are striations in my heart, so deep, a lizard could lie there, unseen, and wait for tomorrow’s sun. Timeless: this worm at the apple’s core waiting for its world to end. Seculae seculorum: the centuries rushing headlong. Matins: wide-eyed this owl hooting in the face of day. Somewhere, I remember a table spread for two. Breakfast: an open door, a window that overlooks a balcony and a garden.
“Where are you going, dear?”
Something bright has fled the world. The sun unfurls shadows. The blood whirls stars around the body.
“It has gone,” she said. “The magic. I no longer tremble at your touch.”
The silver birch wades at dawn’s bright edge. Somewhere: tight lips, a blaze of anger, a challenge spat in the wind’s taut face. High-pitched the rabbit’s grief as it struggles in its silver snare. The somnambulant moon tiptoes in a trance.
If only I could kick away this death’s head, this sow’s bladder, this full moon drifting high in a cloudless sky.

Who knows when the skeleton will take to the limelight, peel off her gloves, doff her hat, lay down her white cane, and use me as fuel for a different kind of fire. Grief lurks in the bracelet’s silver snare of aging hair. I kick my legs in the chorus line and my day fades into shadowy shapes that unfurl leathery wings.
Pebbles catch in my throat and the word-river once flowing smooth backs up to spill leaf-freckled foam over the tiniest barriers of branch and weed. I try to speak but a gypsy has stolen my tongue and sewn my lips together.
Leaves outside my window grow rusty with rain. A sharp-shinned hawk no bigger than the blue jay he stalks drives like a whirlwind at the feeder. Winter touches with his jack-frost fingers and Old Eight Hoots waits in the tree and calls my name.
Bright stars crackle the sky. Frost crisps leaves. A mist weaves webs scarce-seen. All around, as I walk to my lonely home, the cold ground creaks its wordless tongue-tied whispers.

Night shapes abound.




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