On the Corner of Catshole Lane
Part One: Standing in the dampened grayness of the day, her umbrella of flattened yellow does little to impede the surrounding breaths of misted rain. While waiting for the light to change, a question uncoils about the strangeness of the street name and ancient purpose of this place. Looking down at the small picture of her love, a spell moves her feet as numbers beneath a red fluorescent hand descend in cadence from twenty-five to nothing and a slow murmur diverts her behind a small alley where whitened fish bones stare from empty sockets. She feels hunters follow as the path narrows into lost light gathered into a sinking stream bending in and over itself until she is no longer swallowed by the cascading rain, but rides atop a soft press of fur and stillness of rhythmic purrings and silver green eyes searching now in unnumbered darkness. The bargain swells unbidden to her throat as she gives her body over to the pride descending to scratch and dig and claw; she somehow neither fights nor cries focusing all her pain on clutching the fading picture in her hand, the flesh stripping away piecemeal with each needling morsel, slowly her new form emerges, sleek and indolent she purrs and rubs against the shoulders of her pride, exacting now nothing but her leave, then gliding swiftly along the lines and lacework of the fence-tops to the silent windows of her love, she mews and cries and shrieks against the pane. A whisper breathes that if her love should only just bring her strange new body a daily offering of cream, then her love would be healed and live again each new morning to greet the endless passing of the days.
Tired eyes looking out,
Lonely wauls call the moonlight.
Fingers swirl the cream.
Part Two: A shrill horn rudely blasts and passes, shaking her from the waking of her dream. A normal-looking sedan the ordinary color of mere eggshells speeds and splashes the puddle over which her foot suspends, not yet having left the corner. The crosswalk count blinks just twenty as the car wafts a trail of droplets in its stream mingling with the tears landing softly on the picture in her hand. There is no ancient magic or coven of familiars here, only the slow remembrance that for so long she had simply wanted to be carried away into the arms of an honorable death, to free her love from the eddies of agonal breathings swirling beneath her falsely vibrant shell. Then just a little while past, this living death had left her, evicting the metal casings from her mind as life lifted her by the hand to open formerly fastened doorways. With a stroke of irony, it was just then that her love found the lumps, the convex extrusions of autologous parasitism fingering down into the flesh demanding her love’s life for its own, as if the prayers of months and days and years had been received only to be cruelly triangulated to miss the intended mark by just those few inches that lay between them in the bed. Now there is nothing, nothing, nothing she can do for her love but to fight and lift and steady with brave face as her love endures the prodding tests and searches of her pride. The lights change and she drops her foot softly toward her home, hoping to spend any remaining intertwining in quiet understanding. She spends more than a dram of wonder on the question, how in the hold of this new terror she feels so little darkness, and who might have gifted her these wings of light and clarity that now speed her to her love’s encircling arms and passage of the days.
Padded footfalls step
Silently behind her now
A gray cat follows.
Lona Gynt, June 2018
Copyright, All Rights Reserved for text Lona Gynt, June 2018.