Thursday, January 5, 2012

those gaudy gold seat covers

the flickering flame from the cream-colored candle

dwindled in its confidence, exuding the sweet smell

of a ripened peach freshly plucked from fertile trees

before overcast clouds cast shadow upon the backyard,

thick raindrops pelted down like sports cars racing on

the highway, blurring snowcapped mountains as it past.

She closed the white lace blinds, a gift from two years ago,

before sinking into plush gold seat covers she thought gaudy

but kept anyway after he insisted. They were comfortable,

actually, but she never admitted it. Wrapping herself in

shredded quilted t-shirts from old college days, like taking

comfort from her mother’s arms when she was young, she

flipped through the television, read a page from her book,

wrote a sentence in her unfinished journal before receding

further into her fortress she constructed, lightning struck

with startling brightness before thunder, like hooves of

dozens of horse-drawn chariots, crackled overhead and

electricity flickered and knocked out once more. Moist

water droplets sneaked through, looking for a midnight

cookie, before she patched the cracked window with a

burnt orange towel and ebbed the chorus flowing from

ear to ear but she wasn’t listening. The bedspread was

too appealing, so comfortable tonight, or morning,

her watch broke that day and she never fixed it. Time is

meaningless. Heartbeats are her seconds. She snuggled

with her gold seat cover before counting how many

heartbeats will pass before their hearts can beat

together again.

-Madeline Wahl

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