My mom told me to buy vessels for what I already own when the itch for novelty strikes. I did one better. I closed the loop of longing, enshrined the weightless dying!
Paper Cranes on the Sill
When the package comes, I unpack it. I hold its contents up in the yellow kitchen light, read each thoughtful history and suggestion for use. Then out tumbles the ephemera! Here are the things I didn’t know how to want. I finger the delicate pretenses of flight, give each gift a home of dust and cracked paint. I point out the window to share the view I’d achieved. Out there, cars stop, choose a direction, then follow through. My stomach grumbles, “You know ghosts always gossip at crossroads.” The cranes and I almost ignore it. As a sleepy kid in Mom’s arms while she fiddled with her keys, I asked questions like, “When am I going home?” and “Why does my skin feel like a burden?” It’s hard to keep solid containment, a place to relish in stasis. It’s best to forget the unfinished maps and unsigned contracts.
Salt Lamp in the Castle
My son forms at a faster rate than I. As he falls asleep, he can stare at the gentle inferno shining from his wooden castle. One time my mom put a green bulb in her Tiffany lamp. The furniture conspired with tabloid horrors in the shadows. The finite space of the world dawned with reckless cruelty. Out there, at that very moment, people were choosing oblivion over the iron maiden of the present. Out there, toxic relics preserved insidious histories. Darkness ceased to be an adventure. Night crouched outside of nursing homes and shopping malls alike. My son cries out at night sometimes. His expressions, even in waking, are often cyphers. All I can do is light the electric wick and hope the fog is merciful to his lengthening bones.
Art Supplies in the Hall Closet
Hall closets are for hopes and secrets. Here is the toy that was too loud. Here are the Christmas decorations, hidden to forget that this time of year is inferior. The acrylic paints glow, serene under the naked bulb. Any day now, I could continue my series of anxious fictional foliage. Or! I could resume my diary comics. Not right now though. I just came to put a small shirt in the Goodwill bag and to worry about how to dispel the old carseat. Hall closets are legendary. There’s a whole Buzzfeed list about the boardgames behind the whispers in Royal Tenenbaums. Out of sight, does the mind build solace to weft the worries?
Comic Book in the Filing Cabinet
Shout out to the old me, a saint sending alms to future hearts impoverished by lost tax papers. Cross legged in a nest of stress before my alter to bureaucracy, I sink into nostalgia. I remember lying in bed with a stack of artsy comics. I remember my carefully curated playlists. I remember the solo douleur as the ends of wits crackled. Vaudeville villains of days gone landed on my chest, twiddling waxed strands and awaiting rebuttal. I wandered daymares with sand stung eyes, the Polo to my Marco mute and pleading. Intentions are everything! The wind persists and the atmosphere has its own agenda, but a plucky design should seal any crack. It must! I’m grown enough to panic in April, it’s time to come up off that covenant!
Bree Jo’ann is a lanky legend from the hood. Her hobbies include playing Mario Cart with her husband, singing 070 Shake’s “The Pines” in the car with her son and longing for overpriced designer corduroys on the Internet. She is a candidate for an MFA in Creative Writing at Butler University. Her book, Black Glitter, was published by the late great Monster House Press. For copies of Black Glitter, hit her up on Twitter @how2baradwytch or email her at email@example.com. Find more of her work on poets.org, thejournalpetra.com and peachmgzn.com.
Banner image by Olivia Cronk