Monday, August 13, 2007

"The Poisoning"

The proclamation of my loud shoes against the pavement sets me on edge. The safety of light is sparse between lamps, as the two burning circles barely touch. It is in this place I hear a second set of footfalls, unsure if it is my secret fear of darkness leeching into my ear, or if it is a perpetrator stalking me. My feet scurry beneath me faster, my head on a swivel searching blackness and finding nothing I can place a finger on. The echoes travel closer and quicker in shadows, and the saliva in my mouth runs dry, and my voice wants to scream, but lingers on the back of my tongue, unable to cross the desert of my mouth. There is a clearing with a lake of mercury, the moon floats in the center like a cultured pearl, an imperfection of the highest degree, luring me near. I pull my shoes off breaking into a run, the high grass slicing into my muscles like double-edged daggers as I split the night with my body. I run with arms and legs pumping like a machine in full tilt, running from the echo, running from the defalcator. Diving under the surface of the lake, face painted in molten mercury, poisoning my mouth and my eyes, arms pulling me deeper and deeper into the belly of my monster, its green weedy tongues entangling my limbs until the thrashing is done, until my breath is nothing more than silver bubbles filled with fear, rising to the surface, a woman released. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

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