CONTENT WARNING: MENTION OF ANIMAL ABUSE
wasted on the balcony during the hurricane, she quaffed her dark ‘n stormy—a fervent, failed attempt at calm. still, the storm did not move her. the gusting wind encircled her, tied up her hair like a swirl cone from the stand on the beach, the one where the seagulls lurked and would steal the fries right off her plate. the one she walked to twice a day for strawberry soft serve when her daughter was still young enough to think of such things as a sweet stolen taste of the tenable magic of heaven. strawberry soft serve on the beach – wasn’t that heaven? it was gone now surely, the stand. she thought of the mother and daughter who ran it, hoped they were alright. she imagined them swept out to sea with their pop-up shop, drowning, but holding on. she went inside to pour another drink. the windows blew in as she reached for the rum. she clung to her empty glass in lieu of anyone else.
this is a true story
there were six in the den, in a cage on the floor set in front of the couch like an ottoman. i
imagined the hours you must have spent complaining, relaxing, watching tv, with your feet
propped up on their coffin.
there were more in the bathroom, not dead yet, but close, or dead already, reanimating. i couldn’t
tell. dead or dying or coming back all smell about the same.
in the kitchen, more still. with a gloved hand first, i tried to free a long-dead kitten from the
kitchen floor, but it slid like sludge, gut-muck slurry in my fingers. i looked around the shit and
trash, considered what cooking utensils i could see, grabbed a spatula from the counter,
you wouldn’t notice anyway.
10 February, 2021