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R. Flowers Rivera

PERSPECTIVES OF SOMEDAY ISLE

      Someday I’ll get rid of
      This blue glass eye of mine

Tangled vines of Christmas lights creep along rusted nails jutting from concrete walls.
The pointed bulbs pierce the heat, burn intense then dim, falter and repeat. The night stirs
Hot, sun-bleached curtains tied back in knots. The creak of the dry-rot floor speaks to me,
Honey, I knowed you been busy, but how could you stay ‘way so long from Someday Isle?

      Yes, sit right down gouge out
      This blue glass eye of mine

A structure of white-washed cinderblocks house twelve proselytizing Arethas—moaning,
A heathen prayer circle to rebuke the Red Dress Woman from Tchula who’s set her mind
Towards staying ‘round awhile. Tried veterans, having seen her kind before, create their own
Rites of ablution, a quart of Crown to wash vexed minds free of their sins of men.

      Second-sight ain’t a blessin’,
      It just messes with your mind.

A warped wooden pew in close proximity to the china bowl, a tureen overflowing with paper
Noodles and rank gold. I watch moldy figs shake loose scalps at the youngbloods
Outside, round back. Been near forever since I’ve heard woodshedding and raw licks
Like that. Might would go to church regular if I could get this feeling—minus the preaching.

      I tell myself the lie
      That I’ve told myself before

I stand in the doorway. Red clay tracks trail the threshold. A blinding fissure cracks overhead,
Backlighting a rusty garden of cars. I wait, count Mississippi’s. Still counting, I step beyond
The safety of the eaves to gaze upon a feral sky. Hear salacious fragments of my name. Look,
Find those Tate boys with burn marks for eyes, surrounded by a biting halo of smoldering moss.

      Yes, the very same lie
      That I proved wrong before:

Crazzack kakow! A fuse blows. A montage of easy voices in the dark. Nosy Nita claims
She knows where to find another. Then silence. The horror of silence. I can’t recall my own
Voice. Light’s restored. My eyes fix upon a detail missed before. A handscrawled placard reads:
NO DOPING—NO FIGHTING—NO WHORING. No mistaking, it’s meant for me.

      How second-sight got by way of
      A blue glass eye don’t make me no whore.

 

BERNADETTE, VOCALIST, AGE 27: OMAHA, NE

Plagued by this morning, brittle with sunshine,
Though I still don’t agree, I can understand
Monica’s blue dress. Dried stains
Darkening my sheets and bruised mouth
Actually seem like mercy. Now that you’ve gone
Home to that Other who is not me
.