I was happy when I was younger, when I was meditating, but I no longer meditate. I no longer can. It’s not good to meditate without a teacher. The mind can stop in a dangerous place. We need to be guided to the path, and even though my city is known for its plethora of teachers, my husband will not allow me to find one. Getting permission from my husband is like asking feathers from a turtle. If he knew that I want the sun, he would remove it from the sky. That is his nature.
I am heavy. My soul is dark as asphalt. It covers the earth, like Sherman-Williams paint.
I once had a Sherman-Williams t-shirt. It was tight on me, a hoodlum’s shirt that showed off my muscles. It intimidated the weak. Even though I was small, I decided to fight anyone who challenged me or insulted me. Because I was small, I was vicious. I thought that the only way to survive was to assume that every opponent was out to kill me, so I had to kill them first.
When interrogated, I made self-defense seem plausible. They released me, even after I became known. I was a modern Billy the Kid, with my deformed foot and sunken chest.
I hear thunder and think it’s a truck scraping the street, readying it to receive more asphalt. The nun is married to Jesus. I am married to asphalt. It is the only comfort in my life. No one messes with me anymore. I have “street cred.”
My soul has been rolled over and over with heavy machines, machines smelling of tar. I can be rolled but not crushed, not obliterated.
She moves sweetly, lethargically. Her limbs are like candy cooked in a sheet, ready to be cracked into pieces.
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over a thousand of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, The Best of the Net, and Queen’s Ferry Press’s Best Small Fictions for work published in 2011 through 2015. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. To see more of his work, google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver.
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