Monday 3/05/2007 12:17:00 AM

Scribbling patches in the soil with a gnarled twig. She bent down to eyeball the tollbooth in the glass. Maverick indiscretions still in their tanning beds. Random. Phone numbers in chipped fingerprints. Window panes breathing too deep. Exhaling so hard. Only the broken wrists of caulk remember what they saw.

One match left in the book. One stain still pickling her skin. In sour braids. Like the weight of tarnish intensified by soap and water.

No one to blame.

The sheets folded into a dark fortune cookie. We the slip of paper. The door our audience. As those gunshots laughed up from our groins. Staining her lips with his gelid gunpowder. Mixing with raindrops of rouge left over from before. She'd been told about the glass slipper. But only for princes and orphans.

We'd read the stories. And written some. In the stale sulfur our tongues had kept. Of devils meaning too well. During arguments with the glass.

Wandering in dreams too vivid. Infected by every splinter. All our spears sunken into the whale. All of our coffins close enough to dissect. The cutting boards of saviors in despair.

A dry heave. A champagne glass of broken windows. Spilling over.

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