© Christopher Woods; Red Houses; Photography
In the afternoons,
we cross apple orchards
to feel the sun on the wood plank
floor and we ignore the spray paint
and infestations of hate.
Years later, a guy named Benny would
tell stories about that building from a
bar stool. They were happy stories.
Barbeques and ivy and raw business potential.
Apple whiskey and neighborhoods.
A quiet old woman on the porch,
sewing green velvet into ruffles, muttering,
Tomorrow is another day.
Today, we can pretend
the world does not exist.
There is no court for those
waiting to be sentenced.
No day care for the child
silently attached to a skirt.
There is food we don’t
usually eat, quietly invading
our skin until tomorrow.
Tequila and Film.
Saran wrap on the windows,
sealing, sticking, hoping
for more than just drift.
I swear I will make it happen. The bunnies and roosters will watch me with awe as I tornado, as I funnel and spin. The world will wonder, “Where has she been this whole time?” and the grass will turn purple with my steps. The rain will not be rain but oil, drip-dropping for the people who need it to blacken the world and brighten the day. The black will coat color with all matter of uniformity. I swear.
I promise I will not cry. I will change the way I notice that parenthood is unfair and discriminatory, like airport security and grandparents. The fallout will be thunderous and damning. Chairs will fold under the weight of regret and unfounded dreams. You will see me, then, with a paper bag and a lighter and the universe will tell you when to run.
If you allow me to make it happen then you can make it happen too. We can rule my suburban life with tight fists and take-out on Mondays. I’ll give up the guitar I never play, the plants that have been in the same pots for years, the small dining room that sits unused and unstylish. You can have my heart too, if you need it.
Sarah Ghoshal’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Empty Mirror, Arsenic Lobster, Winter Tangerine Review and Broad! Magazine, among others. Her chapbook, Changing the Grid, is currently available for pre-order from Finishing Line Press. You can learn more about her at www.sarahghoshal.com.