FROM OVER HERE YOU LOOK LIKE AN ANSWER
Originally published in Counterexample Poetics, August 2015; reprinted with permission
I WANTED YOU TO LOVE ME! I shouted from my side of the canyon. WHERE IS THE DOOR! you yelled back. THAT’S NOT WHAT WE’RE HERE TO TALK ABOUT! I yelled even backer. You cupped your hands around your mouth. THIS ISN’T FUNNY, I HAVE A CLIENT WAITING! Nothing was going as planned. I was beginning to think that this great big groaning valley was not the good idea it’d seemed to be. COME ON, you pleaded, I’M GETTING SAND IN MY CONTACTS. IS THIS A MONEY THING? You were turning to your left and your right. Some kind of small creature nipped at my toes. I wished I could sink into the dry dead land. I DON’T NEED YOUR HELP! I shouted, desperately, trying to be straight-spined and compelling. Instead the wind whipped half my words from my mouth and all you got was the echo of me screaming, NEED HELP! NEED YOUR HELP! On the other side of the divide you were pacing and wringing your hands. I’VE FORGOTTEN HOW TO WALK DOWN STAIRCASES, I shouted across at you. I’M AFRAID OF THE DARK AGAIN. I held up one stubby mottled fist and shook it a little, so you would notice. I THINK MY BODY IS FALLING TO PIECES. I was starting to feel light-headed. My knees shook, making loose hollow sounds like maracas. The unrelenting chasm spit up the other half of my cry and began calling out, DON’T! DON’T! DON’T! It made my squeaky voice sound like a granite mountain. You sank to your knees in the far across dust and started to cry.