The paper-skin woman
was begging at the corner,
or was she asking? Perhaps
it was as simple as hope.
How many in the cars grinding past
Ruin had come by earlier
wearing a party dress. She said
she was giving up the ghost, but
the paper-skin woman wasn’t interested
in ghosts. Or the invisible. Or facsimiles.
The paper-skin woman had come to believe
the only thing worth saving was an anxious truth
and she knew how it carried itself
and the timbre of its voice
and how it could look pretty in the pink light of dusk.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 4.
The cracked teacup nested in the pool
of rain, gold leaves wicked on its side
and across the sodden grass
like so many gloves. This is the vacant lot
with the tumble of shredded cardboard,
the winking cans, bereft weeds.
She walked across, gingerly. Noting
none of the glum details, only the general
sense of abandonment. Was she foolish
for walking here, she wondered,
at the same time telling herself
she could do with some drama, evidence
she had not become invisible, untethered,
a fog girl. She looked ahead at the sour yellow
of the streetlight and then to the brick wall
with holes where windows had once been
and felt the eyes of nothingness flick
across her skin and move on.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 2.
Cider Press Review’s inaugural web issue, CPR Volume 14, Issue 1, is now online. Read new work by Aran Donovan, Mercedes Lawry, Daye Phillippo, Janet Barry, Athena Kildegaard, Luke Whisnant, Tim Suermondt, James Cox, Wendy Drexler, Jin Cordaro, Ronda Broatch, Julia Esacove, Stan Sanvel Rubin, Cory McClellan, René Char, Nancy Naomi Carlson, Wendy Taylor Carlisle, Sharon Olson, Jennifer Finstrom, Sandra Stone, Laura J. Martin, Doug Ramspeck, and Sara Dailey. Read the issue online today; download a Kindle version from Amazon next week.