A New Embrace


I knew it must have been his fault, but I didn’t know why. Its gentle teeth were
pointed in, so that nothing that ever passed them could come back again. It didn’t seem
threatening or evil, just kind of innocent-looking and odd. Like cows drinking cups of
tea. And you didn’t quite know what to do with it, but you knew it was somehow wrong.
He was trying to tell me how to stop it, but I was the one who was not there at the
time. He was hitting himself in the head because he deserved it. “Now try to listen to
me,” he said to his battered ears.

                    These are the things I know:
                                       1. It was his fault.
                                       2. It couldn’t be stopped.
                                       3. Sometimes it hurts.
                                       4. Something needed to be done.

“Shake it, smell it, chuck it in the sandbox.” That’s what I always say.
Because he understood it was a metaphor, he tossed a bucket of water across the
room and listened to see if it sounded wounded when it hit the floor.
Then he was mad again and he was thinking about what her friends were going to
do to her. They had been carrying her around and around. They were believing
everything she said. But now, now he was certain they were going to put her away like an
accident, like a mistaken little oily thing.

The eerie light of the sun through thick frost on the bedroom windows is part of the
answer but not the whole answer. An uproar of leaves is also part of the answer but
they’ve already come and gone and nothing’s changed. Believe what you want. I’m going
to tell what I know. I’m going to be writing deep into the paper with this serious tone of
voice I can whistle up from my dead past. I’m going to be doing something less than
She’s my accident now. He’s admitted me and the sandbox is filling up.
More arms are available. More buckets of water.
More cups of tea.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.