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The Fountain Of Trevi

Lifting liquid high into the air, her necklace swam in cupped palms.
Clear droplets clung to each blue plastic pearl.
Clean beads for a clean salvation.

She wore her rosary everywhere then.

She taught me how to pray that day, in strings of hissed
whispered words.
Her fingernails, silver and chipping on each thumb,
traveling the length of familiar beads.

Around us, other (older) Gods watched, their baleful eyes worn smooth.
All of the gleaming copper long since turned a gold-flecked green.
Belonging to the indifferent past,
they bore witness to the prayer of a reluctant novice.

I wonder sometimes, if she still kneels,
in a haze-filled and scented church,
the smoke stinging her eyes
a myriad of colors from the stained glass,
spilling across her white skin.

And does she remember the day,
that we baptized her beads in a fountain
dedicated to dislocated and pagan Gods?
I know this is an essay, but it was honest-to-god the highlight of my semester. Also, as I would like to continue on with school (either in English or Anthropology), I suspect essay-writing will continue to be a large part of my life.

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Pistolero

(This was just published in A, and it's the first thing I have ever had published. Still, I have high-pie-in-the-sky sort of hopes for more).


He plays Pistolero on a battered red guitar.
Once, the E-string flared up. It bit at his finger,
its frayed end electric with vibrations and blood.

Bonnie: I hate robbing banks.

I used to think she was saying, I hate Robin Banks,
and I wondered what Robin Banks had done to her.

We mimic gunfire, dive behind heavy leather couches,
black and smooth. In the summer, our thighs stick.
Only the cats are startled
by the spray of fake bullets.
Their large lantern eyes widen. They hiss.

Sometimes we talk about robbing banks.
How we would do it.
What we would say.
He’d drive the getaway car.
I imagine the sound of tires biting gravel.
We swerve to avoid an abandoned tennis shoe
lying on a dirty yellow line.

He would wear a bold
blue
bandana
bound tight across his mouth.
A cowboy hat with the brim held low.

I would smile
and tell bad popsicle-stick jokes to reassure
the trembling woman behind the counter.
Being robbed could be entertaining,
if done properly.

He throws a pillow at me.
That’s not how you rob a bank.
You don’t tell jokes
.

Maybe that is why Bonnie hated robbing banks.

He’s settling back into the leather,
now weary of the old west. Guitar in hand,
taking us somewhere else.

Dead Greek Gods

A Preview...
It only took us two more hours to roll into Georgia. Naomi read Hercules’ last task as we crossed the state line. She seemed indifferent to the apparent ending of our trip. The destination grew nearer with every mile marker and I tried without too much ability to tie the end of our epic together. Maybe an epic had been a stupid way to think about it, especially since I now sat picking at the stitching on her backpack as I listened to the other cars passing by us. Three semis in a row rolled past, and I watched the sign sway dangerously.


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Muse

When, in the night, I wait for her, impatient,
life seems to me, as hanging by a thread.
What just means liberty or youth or approbation,
when compare with a gentle piper's tread?

And she came in, threw out the mantle's edges,
Declined to me with a sincere heed.
I say to her, "Did you dictate the pages
of Hell to Dante?" She answers, "Yes I did."

- Anna Ahkmatova (1924)

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