Friday, October 24, 2008


She is 98 going on 50 and I am changing her back into her clothes for discharge home. We chat about remembering not to take too many of her new pills without talking to the doctor, as she rests a hand upon my forearm, her touch light and feathery with fragile, thin skin. I look into her eyes to find the edges reddening, brim with sad tears on the brink of spilling. She tells me she doesn’t understand why sickness has found her family so late in her life. She grips me now with tiny fingers, speaking of her son curled in a bed from stroke, how he had never hurt anyone in his life to deserve such an end, such a fate. There is nothing I can say so I start to cry, place my hand upon her brittle, gray hair sliding it down until is rests on her cheek to catch the tear that got away.
Aleathia Drehmer 2007
Published by Words Dance 10/08 (Issue 12)

Apples and Cinquains

Sitting next to him in the cusp of what would have been sixteen years of life spent in each other’s company, I heave a breath that cuts the room. Our backs hunch over sitting in tiny blue chairs built for small people as we listen to our progenies academic achievements. The teacher looks through the painful silence between us and I find myself counting the puffs of oxygen coming from the tank neatly strapped to her back to distract me from the truth of it all. At the end, we stare at the pile of drawings and stories, the culmination of our combined seeds, trying to decide what fragments of her we cannot bear to part with. As I walk to my car alone, I look sideways and see him there in his seat, sun hitting the windshield and his face is twisted as if crying. Part of me wants to knock on the window and simply say, “I’m sorry.” But I know that would somehow never be enough, so I keep walking with the sound of gravel under my feet.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Words Dance 10/08 (Issue 12)

A Bee in the Belfry

You are a monk on the bench in the garden blessed by a god neither of us believe in. Your belly a great rising and falling of intuition as the faint perfumes from Yucca and Oxlip float into your mouth on the easy breaths that come in half sleep, and I a bee amidst the stems and petals, adventuring out several feet at a time reporting back colors, whorled leaves, and densely tangled ground cover to your deaf ears. A benevolent smile peels your lips, eyes close in the winking summer light dancing minuets across the bridge of your nose until it finds me still and silent in the world’s greatest perfection. I come to rest on the worn wood beside you, leaving no space for air between us. Our warming damp skins mingle, ribs touch in rhythm to the raven’s call; your arm rests over my shoulder like moth wings as the belfry comes alive, scattering vibrations through the blue. My lungs hold their breath, feel yours continue even and sweet, then release in time to meet your bones that cage the dove, burning quiet. You speak at once about bodies buried at our feet. Their gift the flowers, wild and entangled, growing from the bone dust of pious men. I knew then, I loved you.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Flutter 10/08

After the party, standing in the rain

Today the rain has washed away that woman’s face done in chalk on the pavement while I spoke to you that afternoon weeks ago. I can still see her like a ghost, hair pulled back in a loose bun at her neck with tendrils at her ears. I had plans for her, plans for retouching the wisps of hair curled round, kissing her cheek, plumping the bottom lip and shining the eye. But life is messy and it gets cleared when the universe sees fit to do it. And I am surprised by how little it took to clean the palette of its dust, leaving no trace on the surface of its existence. But the sun has burned it in to the palm of my hand, into my retina
and I can still see the curve of her forehead from here.

Aleathia Drehmer 2008

Published by Nibble (Issue 4)

balancing a cup on the edge of a garbage can

agitated fingers long and slender twist the helix of time. these are two roads that never cross, but call his mental state a bad case of identity theft. they incriminate his coat as evidence against him. he refuses to part with it, lest we discover the truth locked in to the fibers of the fur trim he strokes at his neck.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Nibble 9/08 (Issue 3)

They always get what they want

The thought of mating rituals has not been entertained in years and she fails to notice the dances going on around her, already captured and caged forgetting the thrill of a man’s advances; The smell of cologne, hands at the small of her back or a gentle cupping of the elbow. She has forgotten how close He’ll lean in to whisper nothings in her ear about dinner or music or even the weather, and she won’t hear words, only the treble in his voice as it vibrates across her skin. She remembers now about the loud music and its excuse for him to angle into her to smell the sweetness of her shampoo mixed with the excited musk of her flesh. In turn he knows his breath, warm and fast, will melt her in all the right places regardless of what he says. And he plays cat and mouse, easing back, out and away from her, knowing she is hungry enough to chase.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by DecomP 11/08