Upon Meeting a Boy on the Street, While Carrying the Cremated Remains of My Alice
The kid says it, and the bell can’t be unrung, “Your wife’s nothing but a pile of dirt, now.” Was it just the uncorrupted, clear-eyed innocence of a child, or did he mean to be cruel? And could a child, a boy of only eight or nine years old, be so insidious? I try to adjust my thinking, flip the switch from darkness to light, but the old filaments in my mind snap; glass shatters; synapses misfire. I grab his neck with my right hand, squeeze the small cardboard box with my left and make him—eat—his—words.
Waffen-SS blood types are tattooed in black—on the white flesh of underarms (eight inches above the elbow): A, B, AB, or O. This lesser known secret sits unnoticed in dark, chalky corners of holding cells, aside piles of gold fillings, eyeless eyeglasses, and other pilfered parts ‘n’ parcels of so-called Rats. But these shadows split on given days, when the sunshine lays way to stray, hopeful seeds bearing bounties of weedy flowers from the likes of creeping speedwell, broad-leaved dock, and bittercress… the soft, hard color of memory; the color of hiSStory; the color of blood.
The Lake House
Deep below the lake’s murky surface, there sits—intact—a house. A two-story structure of Carpenter Gothic details like elaborate wooden trim bloated to bursting. Its front yard: purple loosestrife. Its inhabitants: alligator gar, bull trout, and pupfish. All glide past languidly—out of window sashes and back inside door frames. It is serene, and it is foreboding. Curtains of algae float gossamer to and fro. Pictures rest clustered atop credenzas. A chandelier is lit, intermittently, by freshwater electric eels. And near a Victrola, white to the bone, a man and a woman waltz in a floating embrace.