Denouement

The trick is keeping them down.

There are enough, she reckons, between the prescriptions, the non and the vodka.

But how to keep them down?

No matter what, she doesn’t want to waste them.

Then — Back Then — when the child was a child, she had poured them out, lined them up, libations before images of the child, photographs of smiles and pouts and stares.

As they lay there, before the child, she told herself, Yes, you may do this.  You may do this if – If – IF – you can do it here, right here, looking at the child.

And she tried.  Each pill swallowed as she gazed full-faced at the static echoes of the child.

But she could not.

The child’s face had gone liquid at the edges, melting into the colours of the pills, and she had stopped.  Without meaning to, she had stopped, given up, only to be found later by an indignant husband who did not seem to understand that there had been no Harm, no Loss, either way, no Loss.

They are gone now.  Husband and child. 

There is no one to find her, no one to notice but the dog already crying in its corner.

Sylvia Plath, she thinks, set out plates of bread and butter and mugs of milk for her children, didn’t she?

Perhaps this is the only possibility for mediocre poet ess es.

Unable to wrestle words into anything close to truth or beauty, the slightly talented are left with this. 

Circles and squares and oblongs of powder and saffron and ochre and creme, decomposing around teeth of ice in a thick clear liquid that burns like tears on frozen skin.

Now.  If she can only keep them down.

©s rogers 27 november 2010

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