unfinished novella

continue shaking the bottle.

the misplaced lid
struggles to keep up
with the slapstick pressure 
of her blistered right palm.

the granules refuse to
dissolve, and they team up
to form an island, patchwork
nation where flora and fauna 
write well-intentioned law.

find a sunlit space.

a loved one tells her
to close her eyes and
wave at the scowling men 
whose lawns hiss below. 

stirring her coffee with 
an off-white straw, she walks
along broken lines, kicking the
rocks whose tips have gone dry
and sharp, initials like kohl. 

stretch across the pavement. 

her dog is smiling shyly
like nurses at humid dawn
who gently touch the shoulders 
of those who dodged the fire. 

the men stand upright
and demand an explanation
for her lateral complacence,
young chapped lips in no way
pursed as noon burns like lye. 

continue to sip and shine. 

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