People Who Are In Love Will Read This Book Differently
Cindy St. John
dancing girl press, 2009
Cindy St. John lives in Austin, TX. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Southern Review, Broadsidedpress.org and The Florida Review.
Self-Portrait as the Night of Astronomical Rarities
Mars is seven fists up from the southern horizon, though you don’t check: later, later. A group of you drives out to a friend’s family farm and since you are the only ones left on the 2 a.m. roads, it’s okay to be reckless, drink a few beers in the backseat, sing along with Dusty Springfield the only one who could ever reach me— time wanted someone simpler, but this is simple. Don’t you see? Skin scraped off, new skin underneath, inching toward the knife. Straight down to the marrow bone. By the time you reach the farm, the cloudcover waltzing in off Lake Michigan eclipses any view of the red planet. And also the Geminid meteor shower, tonight supposedly slicing through the sky above you as the Earth plows through the asteroid’s celestial dust. The horses materialize out of the snowy pasture like ghosts to see you, walking up white, smoke-nosed, the smell of heat. A childhood memory of a night you drove to the next town with your mother. A string, twisted metal, the imprint of a small forehead on the windshield, that red. Remember? You take the highway back home, all along the shoulder are roadkill—every few seconds it seems—and you keep watch for something alive to leap in front of the car—maybe you could warn them in time, wondering, is this happening other places or are we the only ones?