At the round earth's imagin'd corners

At the round earths imagin'd corners, blow
Your trumpets, Angells, and arise, arise
From death, you numberlesse infinities
Of soules, and to your scattered bodies goe,
All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow,
All whom warre, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies,
Despaire, law, chance, hath slaine, and you whose eyes,
Shall behold God, and never tast deaths woe.
But let them sleepe, Lord, and mee mourne a space,
For, if above all these, my sinnes abound,
'Tis late to aske abundance of thy grace,
When wee are there; here on this lowly ground,
Teach mee how to repent; for that's as good
As if thou’hadst seal'd my pardon, with thy blood.

-- John Donne

Monday, April 12, 2010

11: Let Me Clarify That

"Cinnabar! That's what I meant. Both a mineral and a color."

Finally a smile with teeth. "I like that."

I'm having a good night. It won't last.

A trace of smile lingered around her eyes, but her voice was all business. "You better have a clear head when Herbert comes back out. By now he's found out whether you're a cop or a Fed, or a debt tracer or what-have-you."

Knew it wouldn't last."Guess I'm what-have-you." So what was that about?

"Yeah?" She poured a shot of something dark and took a sip, looking at him. Still like a tiny bit of smile. "Well, you're not a reporter, he would have picked up on that right away."

He had written a list of things not to talk about. This was one of them. "I need an exhumation." He waited for a reaction.

Mathilde pulled the cherry from his drink and bit it. "A wormfood exhumation, or a spiritual exhumation? My mother always said her soul died when she got married and was rotting inside her like a tiny corpse. Right here." She pointed to her mid-torso. "She blamed it for her flatulence."

He didn't know what to say to that.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

10: Horse's Ass

"Just a ginger ale, please." Sorbet was off on a third trip to the john, and Wicket was switching to soft drinks. His head was already spinning after an hour of answers leading to more questions.

"He's not peeing every twenty minutes, you know. He's checking up." The bartender set a glass down in front of him, leaned on the bar and held his gaze. Wicket hadn't looked at her closely before, but had little choice now, with her hazel eyes on his.

"Tourmaline!" Great, shout at her. "I mean, you've got tourmaline eyes."

"No kidding? What color tourmaline?" Her small mouth looked as if a balloon were tugging upward at one corner. Wicket recalled Dan Cant's antipodal demise and was momentarily lost in swirling unease, lust and frantic mental rummaging.

"Ah! Right, tourmaline's not a color."

"It's a mineral." Definitely almost a smile.

"I guess they're hazel then." Cool panic sweat tickled his scalp. Goddamnit, will I ever grow out of this? What does "checking up" mean?

"They are hazel." Smile still at half-staff.

"What's your name?"



"No. It's Mathilde. Let's make that a legitimate cocktail." She dropped a cherry into the ginger ale. "Horse's Ass."