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Apr/May 2012 Fiction

A substance you can't touch

by Anne Germanacos


Fog—you watch it race past.
(Good to be reminded of untouchables.)

*

There are ways of laying new time over old, not exactly a coat of paint.
But how can you contemplate dying without touching skin to skin?

*

At a certain point in the time of a life, the list of what's lost may grow longer faster.

*

Vision a little off. (That aura around his toe.)

*

All mouth: sometimes I can open wide.

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Mastering the Art of French Cooking
a book on my mother's shelf

*

I read in a book: people fear insects more than they do death.
Not I.

*

Chicken breasts, onions, mushrooms and cilantro in broth.
But it’s astonishing how little food a person may need.

*

It's exactly five o'clock, right now.

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The only way to keep something excruciatingly personal palatable is by making it irresistably beautiful.

*

Spinning, knitting, or making lace.
(Possibly aiming for a new kind of face.)

*

Just spazzing out?

*

The cat and mouse—both—and the rat that gets between.

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Ends—very real, but generally unseen.

*

Words on the walls of a maximum security unit in a juvenile hall:

Cretin, teneract, wheezing, toxic, fealty, vanquish, ornithopter, quest, soot.
Migrant, makeshift, furrow, prowess, timidly, transport, align.

Sorrowful, barren. Sobbing.

*

Is it sweat or wine through the pores that makes the bones in a foot attractive to mosquitoes?

*

A someone else, so close you recognize him only at the edge of consciousness.
(Sometimes you give in to sleep)

*

Fall asleep on the inhale or the exhale?
Does a person tends toward one or the other?

*

Craving what upsets equilibrium:
Coffee, alcohol, swings.

Exhaustion.

Obliged to disorient ourselves
with nicotine or on swing sets?

*

Always looking for congruence?
Shunning it?

*

Cicada, or plane?
Copter.

*

You skate around, time zone to time zone in the space of a life.

*

No longer go panning for gold.
Now, just wait to be caught, a sweater on a nail, and everything comes unraveled.

*

Often, when I'm swimming, fish nip at my toes.

And admit it: you speak in tongues and believe in miracles.

*

If nothing else, religion should wash the smirk off your face.

 

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