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And By Nature
“January is named for Janus, the Roman god of gates,” she said, as if she hadn’t heard me ask where she was last night instead of at the restaurant with me. “He had two faces. –What did you say, darling?”
Now, guess her given name.
I Alone, He Alone
Seated together by chance. Talked through intermission. Agreed to drinks after. For once, Madama Butterfly had a happy ending.
I stopped the car and got out, cursing the limb across the road. Then– The deer! The sunset!
He lists my faults, flaws, shortcomings. I turn the pages and list the common garden toxic pretty plants.
One whiff, and I taste almond biscotti. I hear your voice sharing secrets, sharing jokes. My cream and sugar friend.
“I caught the bouquet! I’m next to be married!”
Ben looks at the blooms in horror.
Bet he breaks up with me. That’s my plan, anyway.
One week, plus the long weekend! Ten whole days, and I don’t have to whack one single person, unless I just want to!
He lies on his spine, legs curled, head back, ears limp as stilled wings. Comes a breeze. He stretches to catch it, then dies again.
I’ve been in circulation, but a long time on the shelf.
He checked me out. “You’re a rare find–a desirable collectible.”
Words long overdue.
“How did you get him to drink it, Grandpa? He never will, for his daddy or me.”
“Told him it was apple blood.”
…Yes, that would do it.
Birth, growth, young ones, lush plenty– Ours, together. Now, in the chill, we try not to think of when it will be just one, then neither.
He stands over his opponent’s dead body and shouts triumph through the frosty wood. Ivy-crowned, he exults, The Summer King, at the year’s turn.
Go to the Flashbacks link for all years’ Hot Flashes.