Wisps of Pele’s hair twirl into a limp bun
burn titanium gold
and scathe the sky,
refracting iridescent rings of light
piercing the miasma;
smoldering greensand eyes punctuated
by malleable creases of clay skin
wander to capture pastels of plumeria and clouds;
body draped in a muumuu of billowing leaves
and creamy hibiscus; feet bent,
like basalt, from the confines
of high heeled shoes,
now set in futon slippers march forward,
and here, she arrives at our door.
Her German accent gurgling like a flowing stream
soothes our scraps and blisters
as does her clucking chortle.
chart oceans and constellations
and record newly discovered creatures
and balance a mile of ice cream
on a customer’s cone,
on the cracked, sandpaper concrete
with the dust of chalk.
We explore the jungle surrounding our house,
picking bougainvillea and dandelions,
following anoles up the greenhouse walls,
and watch as she does not flinch
and smirks when touching the skin
in between the needles
of a cactus, “See? It will not hurt you.”
We chase each other
where the punishment for capture
is the dreaded goosepimples,
an undulation of fingers that barely
brush the hairs of the arm,
causing tickling tingles
and noisy squirming smiles.
At sunset she follows the sun
off down the sidewalk to the bus stop,
and I keep my head squeezed through a gap
in the rusty chain-link gate
watching her until she diffuses
into the atmosphere.
Crushing the leather arms in rigid hands,
feet welded to the stirrup of the chair,
throat laced with frozen stinging breath.
“Look straight up.
Riiight at the corner of this light fixture.”
“…okay…” Face tilts
to the alabaster ceiling almost
as pale as it,
almost as pale as his coat,
lips seal into a button
forcing the frozen breath to tumble
down into the stomach and churn its contents
into an acid slush.
keep your eyes open.”
Drip. Drip. The sizzling liquid offends the sight.
The stomach contracts shooting
up a whimpering cry
into the esophagus to be held there.
“Look straight ahead past my shoulder.
Keep your eyes open.”
The body turns into fevered glass,
the slush begins to boil,
the device to measure the tension of ocular ooze
molests the surface of an eye and then
both Saharan and Arctic at once,
Written for Dr. David N. Odhiambo’s ENG 313: Creative Writing