The Four Good Ones
1. New Moistness
Bobbi was as surprised as she could be by the shards of glass that appeared in her lap–-so surprised, in fact, that she did not connect the noise of the window's shattering to the wicked looking splinters with which she was covered. She just aimlessly wondered what they were and where they had come from. Bobbi was so surprised, in fact, that she really didn't hear Eddie as he screamed at her from the other side of newly glassless window nor did she really see the blood sliding out of the inside of his arms and onto her flowers. Then she was afraid to stand or to brush herself, afraid she might get cut.
2. Field Work
Little teeny green cubes of auto safety glass
are scattered at this particular spot along the interstate.
There was an accident here once; someone probably died here once.
If he can lay down flat on the shoulder in the pebbles and dirt,
those little squares of windshield
can catch the light
and that light can then catch his eyes
and he can no longer see the cars at all.
He can only see the light sheeting off their windshields.
3. Broadcast TV No Longer Holds My Interest The Way It Used To
I'm making my own shows now:
She is naked and asleep
which is just about as vulnerable as she ever gets.
She is rolling through the bedclothes and
I know she is dreaming about her hair and her teeth,
about losing them.
Her nightmare causes her to grip her pillow very hard, very tightly.
One artificial fingernail falls away
like a kind of shell caught in a powerful tide.
4. A Point of Convergence / A Point of Departure
I watched her limp out of the surf and at first I thought she'd been bitten by something in the water. She was wincing. She sat down in the dry part of the sand and I came over to see what was wrong. What it was was that there was a long splinter of bluegreen glass angled into her instep. A thrilling, painful sympathy shuddered through me when I knelt beside her. We were both terrified that something was so obviously wrong, that she could be so obviously damaged. She drew her breath in sharply, much more sharply than usual. There was no blood on her foot at all until I worked the sliver from beneath her skin.
(Originally published in Carp, Volume One, Issue 3, 1996)