Two guards: one thin and quick, the other large and impassive. The quick one leafs through my passport, asks about plans, business dealings. He pockets my passport, smiling cruelly. The big one sighs, retrieves my passport for me and lets me through.
[This is my alternate answer to this week’s Yeah Write microstory challenge]
Who is it tonight? The quiet one, all darting eyes and monosyllables? The bore, spouting barely understood scientific theories? The smiler and nodder? The nerd? Maybe, just maybe, the interesting one?
Which version of myself showed up?
Oh, right, the distracted one.
The 6-year-old teeters on the edge of the couch, gravity-defying plastic bag wings outspread. The 9-year-old folds her arms and declaims the stupidity of the enterprise. The 42-year-old enters and pauses, not sure whether to shut down the equation or just watch.
“Here, read this. Forty-two words.”
“Okay…” She reads. “I like it, but I don’t get where it says ‘explicably’.”
“I meant ‘inexplicably.'”
“Did you get that it’s at a hospital?”
“Oh! No…” She reads again. “His leg is missing?”
my pitiful heartache.
I looked up at the end to see
my reading had emptied the joint.
I’m through with this city.
Or it with me.
[A mirror cinquain, inspired by Yeah Write’s March poetry slam. I cheated a little by having three syllables on the first and last lines.]
We’re waiting and joking anxiously outside the famous pizzeria. A meekly smiling man shuffles through, extending an upturned hand to each. A woman averts her nose. My hand stays in my pocket. Before leaving he frowns in genuine despair over his shoulder.
We mixed it with coke and read aloud the only play we had with two copies. “Thrift, Horatio!” “To a nunnery, go!” We stumbled, spake, drew swords. Morning found retched scrambled eggs on my bedroom rug. No method in it but friendship.