March 11, 2015

Alinda Wasner

And There Is Eternity

And today she promises she will go there and buy the house back, the one I sold when she was small and live in it forever because the bloom of light from the street lamp outside the bedroom window spun the curtains into gold and in the deepest hour the trains rumbled past making the windows sing a little tune and the floorboards hummed as if dreams tunneled under and we were safe there together, she in her little bed beside my big one where we reached our hands out and held on tight until morning painted the walls so delicious a yellow you wanted to lick them and she swears she loved the smell of moss that made a tiny carpet just outside the back door (though I don't remember this) where the wind chimes argued day and night and the spruce trees whispered the kind of secrets that made a little river inside her heart—the same river I kissed a boy in when I was her age and let him kiss me back.

the first time I really notice you

you are carrying in a box of Halos and artichokes looking for somewhere to put them though god knows there's no place to set anything in this kitchen an old box of kosher salt having turned to granite on the counter top and the Pisa of empty cottage cheese cartons leaning on every available surface as if they've been here since the Depression which they very well may have alongside the mountains of newspapers and professional journals and you say this has got to stop, meaning this place where your family lives is such a mess you're embarrassed for me to have to see it and you have said this before and now I have this sudden need to defend your mother, to tell you the old adage about the woman whose home is so ready for the unexpected guest she's too tired to entertain, because mostly I want to make you laugh I want you to find me attractive. I want suddenly to take the box from your hands, peel the oranges, cook the artichokes just for you assuming you like artichokes assuming I've ever prepared artichokes but I could learn though mostly I want to take your face in my hands, your hands between mine hold my palm to your palm and peer into the blue world of your eyes, measure the curve of your mouth with mine. I want  to confess all things indecent, press your hair to your head just to see it spring back into place, watch the way you stretch your arm behind your head as if reaching for an arrow from a quiver a modern day David, your gaze fixed on some distant idea. Lord knows why I want to go crazy with love or maybe I just want you to explain the physics of probability. It could be a TED talka half hour to an hour designated to sustain my desire for the mere sight of you coming through that door with oranges and artichokes a pink residue of light from the ceiling fixture on your massive hands and your smile as you see me see you for the first time come through that door.


Alinda Wasner's work has appeared in more than forty journals and won several prizes. Her collection, When You Don’t Know Who You Are, will be out from Crisis Chronicles in 2015 , and another, Still Burning, from Alibris.

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