Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quarter past eleven on the Jubilee

My Abuela's gray shoes are tight and her ankles bilge over the sides, great fresh sausages encased in knee high hose two shades lighter than her skin. They roll down forming hula-hoops of mesh on her calves. It is quarter past eleven and we are on the tube with lights flashing staccato across weary faces of travelers, foreign moons like mine, but still so strange to me. I touch Abuela's hair as it lifts from her scalp. The strands black and silver spider legs crawling in the air. I see myself in the glass across the aisle and smile at my reflection until the corners of my eyes are squinty. Abuela tucks my hair from my face and pinches my cheek softly. I lean into her with a secret whisper in our own language that I do not want to share with the others. Her apron smells of cleaning products and seems a safe place to harbor them. She straightens my favorite red coat with the white flowers, and pulls the phone from her old leather purse to show me its electric blue screen full of games and music and numbers. It plays our song and we share a small laughter into our hands, brown of earth and heritage, hands that plant the seeds of our mighty existences into the rich topsoil, in a place so far from home. Aleathia Drehmer 2008 Published by The Toronto Quarterly

The cat hides under the chair

Sometimes it is hard to love you when the wind rushes beneath my dress and the skeletons of hills illuminate what we already know. Sometimes it is hard to love you in the silence of this room, its roar the only music, save the savage world beating on the screen of the window. Sometimes it is hard to love you as the tea goes cold and still in the cup, when the heart is lit by a single fading candle. Sometimes it is hard to love you under the weight of the sky falling like anvils to the ground, under a night-cursed loneliness of empty arms and breath. Sometimes, it is hard to love you.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008 Published by In Between Hangovers 10/08