Season


Sweating, the woman sits on the porch with a coffee mug of wine. Her neighbor walks out to his mailbox, sees her knees in the bathrobe, and says much too loudly, “Will it ever rain?” Once, things seemed to just appear, sort of glowing hands cupped about a cigarette or steering wheel, the hiss of tires on the gleaming street, something about to happen, maybe someone new arriving to alter everything, but now . . . It seems like the world drifts away into spiraling coughs of dust. The daughter in the bathroom mirror pinches her skin. Sticky. Her flesh feels like the backseat of a Chevy, parked in night weeds along an abandoned factory. Crickets. The woman watches a chipmunk rob the birdfeeder. It scurries beneath her house. She tells the man at the bank and the man says, Set mousetraps. Sprinkle poison bait. Fill a bucket with water and sunflower seeds to create a deadly pitfall. You want your house to collapse, lady? Fuck, thinks the woman and drives straight to the grocery and to the matinee, two beers tucked into her panty line. Laughter. Someone lets out a fake moan. The movie screen crackling, the air so cold, the woman has a moment of fleeting ecstasy. The cool can on her upper thigh and she remembers spring: zig the green grass mow the neighbors, zag the green grass. Gripping lawnmowers the way Zeus must have tossed lightning bolts, faces glossed in the rapture of beheading. And every afternoon, drizzle, and all the mowers scrambling indoors. Silence. The daughter would awake from a strange dream and drink a warm glass of tap water. The woman would sit waiting in a whisper of breeze. Her neighbor would check his mailbox, look into the sky, see her neckline in the blue dress, and shout, “Will this rain ever end?”  

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