#132 Waiting on the Sky

by Alaine DiBenedetto Benard

Sparkler tips trace quick paths down toward the horizon. Imagined, yet real, I watch them in the predawn darkness. They tear open the black, as if to release the monstrous thing behind night’s thin curtain. Pretending there’s nothing wrong—nothing ominous out there—I lift my coffee cup and try to catch the last of Perseid’s offering in it, but misjudge the angled arc so it slips past. I sigh into the cooling air, absentmindedly setting my cup down where it will be found months later when I finally see it, focus on it. There’s a slight possibility it could be found by someone able to discern the stories of falling stars, I tell myself. Infinitesimally slight.

As the sky begins to lighten, deeper inside my cave I retreat to cobble words from hobbled thoughts, and then wait beside the dying fire. Wait for the distant yellow-green fireballs of Orionids to finally unsolder me from flying gargoyles with claws the size of swords.

Inside the rock womb, my left hand feels familiar crags and smooth cracks, while the other fingers the lines from forehead to chin. Scars. Wrinkles. Either way, they are war wounds from surviving so damned long. Survival of bad relationships. Survival of bad choices. Decisions leading to self-destruction and bouldered walls and desperation to write away the wrong, while trying to capture stars—like fireflies in jar—with a chipped mug.


Sarah Laurenson said...

Interesting imagery. Love it.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Fine prose and poetry served up in a wonderful mug.