Thursday, March 20, 2008

Aunt Sylvia

Aunt Sylvia buried her brother today

She sits alone in the dark of drawn curtains, smoking the second of only two daily cigarettes she has rationed for herself over the past 40 years

She buried her mother six months ago

She lost her last boyfriend 35 years ago after he saw her swollen purple head, black eyes, and contorted body in the hospital bed -- after the paramedics ripped her mutilated feet from the brake pedal, disregarded the skin banana-peeling off her arm bone, and shoved her left eye back into its socket, assuming she was dead -- after her Benzedrine crash was manifest in her sports car confetti, shrapnel, hubcaps, axles, glass, blood, and oil; un-hung ornaments scattered about a limbless lamp post on the Houston highway -- after she had made too many red-eye-flight-attendant trips

She used to mirror the grace of the blue swirling circles spilling out her cigarette

She used to wear tailored coats and tall heels when she had to choose which handsome suitor she'd allow to give her a light

Her face and spine twist and jerk as she speaks over the telephone to her niece; her left eye aimlessly rolls as she groans slow painfully drawn-out sentences in an awkward rhythm -- breathing heavily and sighing frequently when her mouth doesn't cooperate

"Oh, Leon . . . umm . . . umm, couldn't . . . uhh uhh . . . he couldn't let Mama go alone."

She used to call her mom when she wanted to talk, then she called Leon for six months, now she calls the niece that brings her the groceries and cigarettes

She finishes her joke and hangs up the phone

She smiles and then her head suddenly grows too heavy; it presses her down into her wilted vintage arm chair; her spine twists, contracting like a rusted broken bed spring, until the pressure releases and wets her cheek

She picks up a third cigarette

and lights it



5 comments:

  1. fucking cool. i'm intrigued. is there more?

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  2. Deja vu... Did you send this to me at some point? Anyway, I lOVE it! It's flawless. I'm looking forward to reading through that piece you were talking about sending my way...

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  3. oh WOW. Seriously. This is AMAZING. I can't believe I know someone who can write like this.

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  4. Got new stuff?? Been "tuning in" to everyone's blogs and all of us have been slacking... I posted another excerpt, y'know, just to post something but...

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