Blow

Behold the perfect white orb. Grasp it by its tender stem, hold it to your eye; see the world in the spaces between its stars. Now. Transform the orb—and yourself—into a microcosm of power. Purse your sweet thick lips and do as you did with the flicker of fire that marked your second year. Blow.

 

“Mano, mano” says my son, balancing on his tiptoes and reaching for my hand. He has just turned two and will not be carried. Together we stroll through the pre-school parking lot, past the playground’s chain link fence, up the narrow sidewalk toward our car. The journey is fraught with small dangers; cement lies uneasily on the ground, chunks of it rise then fall, following the slope of soil; cracks emerge where weeds have insisted on reaching a higher light.

 

My son breaks loose and runs. I yell his name, hold my breath as I watch his feet skim the uneven pavers, any one of which could rise to catch toes and hurl head toward cement—a potentially fatal blow. But he does not fall. Not today. He stops at a tree and peers down. His nose skims a small grove of wintered dandelions bobbing seductively in the breeze.

 

*

 

Behold the tightly-wrapped brick. A perfect unit, near symmetrical on all sides, shiny like a child’s birthday gift. Slit taut plastic and slip white onto the corner of an impeccable blade. Bitter. Which you taste as sweet just before your tongue turns numb. Patch the slit with duct tape and the brick is back in play. Blow.

 

You can read the rest of “Blow” by ordering Pleiades Magazine 38.1, Winter 2018