Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Heavy Meds"

My mother called yesterday with a tone in her voice that zip-lined me back 20 years to the time before her first brain surgery when heavy meds stole her smile, blanked her face, left her drooling on herself in the dark. Heavy meds forced Johnny Mathis to repeat “Chances Are” to try and ease her pain, made her forget how to write her name, had her burning pots of water on the stove, made her cry like a child at shadows. Part of me froze up on the other end of the line trying to find the right words to tell her I understood without placating false hopes about the darkness creeping up behind her. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


I had not seen Dick Clark on TV since his stroke, and frankly, I had not thought much of him until this New Year’s Eve night. Flipping through the stations sitting on my couch and drinking red wine, we came upon the face of Dick Clark with the voice of someone subhuman. Though he looked the same, the sound of his voice was creeping me out in some strange way that I cannot explain. My husband thought it funny and kept switching back to him to watch me squirm, to watch Dick fumble with his words as the wine and cheese kept rising up the back of my throat. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Zygote in My Coffee Print Issue 3

"Pure Reason"

Cricket is missing his four front teeth, two on the top and two on the bottom. This name given to him for the uncanny ability to make sounds like an insect. His real name is Pete. In front of the Safeway, greeting shoppers and engaging them with intelligent conversation, his paper cup fills easily and quickly full of coins and bills never begged for. He reads thick books by great philosophers, and we have debates on the street about Transcendental idealism while people sidestep us to keep their pristine white bags from getting tangled in our metaphysical storm of words. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Word Riot 6/07


The Haitian is always smiling, gliding generic canned goods over the scanner with the expanse of his solid obsidian right hand. Blips march out unevenly down the line of registers, the noise consistently inconsistent until the drone of it is musical. He stands in the express lane closest to the door. He is never at another register, and I find myself putting back cans of peas and boxes of cereal to qualify getting into his line. His left arm ends at the wrist, five tiny nubs protrude like creamy, pink baby toes that have no strength or purpose, and it is this that draws me in. Jittering in my skin, needing to ask him the question, I am caught staring at the absence of a hand as I sheepishly fumble with my wallet having broke the countenance of his smile. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Juice 6/07

"Short Window of Time"

Two days of rain heavy clouds, and misery perched over the land, transient slips of gray now in a slow building grace, hills fuller, more verdant than I remembered. Two days feels an eternity watching the sun kiss through pillows of textured white, onto curves colliding in degrees of angle forming the valley of my home, slopes that tuck me in at night, that greet my smile at sunrise. I am reborn into spring through this short window of time, when lilacs release clean invigorated scents, and lilies of the valley unfurl bowed pristine bells in prayer, nestled in deep green leaves, a bunting for tender children sleeping. I am caught here, trapped in a moment that finds me each year among the tendrils, the stopped time of childhood dreams. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Brave Little Poem of the Day 6/07


Streets teem with water, and melting hail, the leftovers from a squall. I let my arm dangle out the window onto hot metal of assembly line steel. The sharpness of rain laden air slips over my burning skin, street water splashing upward as cars pass too closely. I wear the grit of summer construction between my fingers, relishing the feeling of filth wedged in creases, while watching perfect white beanstalks fracture the sky with light. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


for Mathias He would like to think himself made of marble or granite, something that withstands the lashings of society, but I see he is built of limestone, penetrated easily with lacerations, deep and superficial, some worn like badges of honor drawing attention from those that gape open and bleed showing the tenderness of his essence. It is this chink in his armored facade that causes him to push my outstretched hand away to keep from making it real. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


She has tattooed the names of all her lovers on various lines of her body, the most important conquests highly visible, banners of her victory, no secrets to be kept. It settles over me strangely and deeply that the tender spot of her neck below the ear, the coveted place a lover might stop to steal a kiss as he traverses his way to bigger and better things is inked crisply with the letters of her father’s name. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Upcoming Publication in Zygote in My Coffee Print #4


He smells of coffee and cigarettes as he grips the steering wheel, one handed stiff armed, driving 80mph down the empty four-lane. Windows rolled all the way down, my hair a whirling dervish in shuttered light of overhead lamps. Our faces small pages of a flip-book as our laughter dances around long silences. His desire to touch me, kiss me evident in the way he leans into me around the sharp curves of the highway; In the casual way he misses my exit and smiles from the side of his mouth. I let him close enough to feel the heat of his skin sweltering above the oppression of this southern night, close enough to keep him coming back for parts of me he can never have. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Amarillo Bay 2/08