First time was an accident When it happened again you said something about a predisposition to echoic built into the structure of time. Like the paradox of Tree of Life planted over the dead. As you scraped toast crumbs through butter and I winced you said Death is a region of metaphor, early October in Warsaw or Lodz. Since then I soak my cigarettes in absinthe, greet strangers by name, softly, in the Polish I never learned to speak.
On 13th Street by the waterfront in an apartment with cracked paint and an icebox, the artist lived with his brother Lazarus a hopeless catatonic pin boy for a bowling alley in the Bronx, waiting for a cool Greenwich Village chick to rescue him. In the Russian Tea Room one day he met Salvador Dali. The same eyes. He couldn’t stand all that sadness. He finished his last painting with sperm and a plucked pubic hair, then in a hotel room near Harrisburg he blew his head clean off.
The Darkening After sunset she left. Her shadow reached back. As she drew nearer the trees her shoulders turned in moonlight and its cold fire burned her blue as eucalyptus. She seemed to rustle, now, with foliage; a dryad whose roots coiled within a cage of ribs, of rocks, of stone cliffs and blanched forest bones, as if a siege of leaf had won her. Then, like a candle winking out, she vanished.
Bio: Mercedes Webb-Pullman: Victoria University Wellington MA in Creative Writing, 2011. Her poems and short stories have appeared online and in print, including Turbine, 4th Floor, Swamp, Reconfigurations, The Electronic Bridge, Otoliths, Connotations, The Red Room, Typewriter, andCliterature, and in her books. She lives on the Kapiti Coast, New Zealand