There’s nothing beautiful about it. Not anymore. The porch creaks, it speaks of fruit as white as winter.

Beyond the railing there is a tree. You light a cigarette, and the branches tap your arm the way a sad girl plays the piano.

You can’t even core an apple now, without stopping to take a pill. You can’t cut into an apple, or sleep at night for wondering if what lies next to you is a wolf, or a black ape, or something that rose from the mud.

The digits of your first phone number dance by in a chorus line. The four is pink and the five is green; the eight is clear as lemon quartz. You see a plan or maybe a scheme. It clutches you like a field mouse in its talons.

Then it shatters. Explodes into tiny beads. Fingers wave like sea ferns and you hope the phone doesn’t ring.

There’s nothing beautiful about it.

It’s not a movie, or a book.

It’s not the water in the basement, or the fire under the stairs.

This is a sky, white as winter fruit, this is a Ferris wheel in the weeds. This is the oak tree, that becomes the electric chair.


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