The WatcherPaula Mendoza-Hanna
The wife makes pie, sets it on the sill unties the frilly apron and dusts the white off her prim hands, stands barefoot, protruding a changeling under her pink blouse. I watch from a tree. I like how her hair shines. I like how she hums the slow jams, like how she sighs, like how she answers the phone— a music box opening. They are always saying something funny, it seems, she is always laughing, into the phone— these silky peals, thin fingers rippling bath water. She is so bright, I want to wrap her in gauze to keep her from bursting. Maybe take the kitchen's lace curtains and drape it over her head like a veil. If she could stay, If I could hide her. If I could let her stay, mummified in gauze, or lace—all the brightness holding in its breath. If I could hold her breath in. If I could just hold her breath. If I could take a terry towel and place it over her pretty pink mouth. And make the soft humming even softer, softer, than—softer than— the music she babbles, the tiny foxglove bells in her small laugh. Yes! Like the pale purple—shivering—dew chimes they must sound to—birds, when the breeze swirls inside those foxgloves, her small petal thin mouth, with all the dandelion breeze blown in it. How I'd like all that delicate music to stay locked up in her mouth, fluttery, pretty and dancing in a gossamer panic, like catching a moth or other papery winged thing in your cupped hands. Your hands a warm cage, a small flesh room for the dancing thrall, its thrilling little fits, a wet eye glittering, reflected in your silver, or how eyelashes feel against the slope of a cool cheek, shuddering a dream—a fluttering eye in a dream.
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