#46 A Room Not Her Own

by Beverly A. Jackson

The room gathers around me, —photos, feathers, neti pot, bong, everywhere chapbooks.

On TV, a G.I. floats face down in an Afghan river. They say two others already sank. Gather them to me. I want to fill this room. I want to lick the blue of their faces.

I want to mix margaritas for the mothers of those boys until every one of them is so drunk they smile.

Here’s a roll of quarters. Here’s a pencil from Disneyland. I do not have a son. Or a daughter. The ghost of my almost floats in some sewer. The ghost of my father hides in a piece of a B17.

A jumble of books, shoes, papers, dog toys, untended house plants. Sunlight bleeds through dirty windows. What made this room crazy? I vaguely remember some order in the world before virgins waited in the hereafter.

The virgins at the Academy of Holy Names used to slouch in the school bathroom, sneaking cigarettes, talking smut in low voices so the nuns couldn’t hear. Come right in, they used to say. They would scare me away with taunts of “Kiss me, kiss me.”

In this room, now, in this world, today, I wish I had.


Unknown said...

Different. In a good way!

Mary McCluskey said...

Heartbreaking. Beautiful, lyrical language. Loved this one!

Anonymous said...

The echoing hollowness of this is tangible. Beautifully done.

JRVogt said...

I quite like the train-of-thought style here.

Douglas Campbell said...

Wonderful piece, Beverly, an unflinching look into the loss, longing and disorientation of growing old.