Not Yet


Luther was not the magical eclipse Susan expected. Just an awkward bundle of
empty cupboards that had climbed to its own kind of heaven and begun vandalizing the
water tower with Susan’s name.
“I live in a peach grove,” Luther said to Susan’s beautiful hair net. “It gives me
great strength and deep love. You should understand this.”
But Susan was not fragile. And neither did Susan release her most appealing odors
when broken.
“I will cross great deserts to return to you,” said Luther.
“First you must go away,” said Susan.
“It will be very difficult carrying your chains,” said Luther.
That war was green. Death visited the cemetery with fresh flowers and attended a
great migration and became larger and more terrible and happier and very very quiet.
Death was taking its time.
But history didn’t end. History wanted a piece of the furniture. History barked and
wouldn’t go away.
So Susan and Luther wore their bowling shirts and made themselves into
indispensible ambulatory chairs with usefully fingered appendages. It was desperately
easy. They painted the water-scarred water tower sloppy white. And the rocks along the
driveway. Luther’s fruited desert already leaked and his lungs needed a context for their
So the couple tried again. They volunteered at the Swedish Tobacco Museum.
They purchased colorful ribbed condoms and drank pina coladas. Time made a movie of
their lips, which were clearly giving service to something. They were ripe and it was time
to pick at them.
“My life is becoming a prophecy,” Luther said to Susan’s empty dress in an attempt
to delay the inevitable, waving his checkered handkerchief from the sloppy old water
Susan’s health club was listening to Bartok that week.
What a wonderful stubborn bush they ate.
Faces were already appearing beneath the old faces and names were appearing
beneath the old names on the sloppy old water tower. The authorities no longer cared
because the water tower was empty.
You couldn’t have asked for a better vantage point.

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.