Belly of the Pig
Every day he stood in front of the Bank of America. You’re trapped in the belly of a big pink pig, he said. We ignored him. We had work to do.
The singing on her belly dance records reminded her of the cattle auctions she used to go to with her grandfather & she would sing along softly, fourfiftyfourfiftyfour seventyfivegorgeous gorgeousgorgeous myohmy, she would say & then she would raise her hands above her head & ripple her body like trees in the wind.
I’ve always thought I was taller than I looked, she said, but that belief is not without difficulties.
Believing My Father
I used to believe my father about everything but then I had children myself & now I see how much stuff you make up just to keep yourself from going crazy.
Can you prove any of the stuff you believe in? my son asked me & when I said that’s not how belief works, he nodded & said that’s what he thought but he was just checking to make sure he hadn’t missed a key point.
sending postcards to himself saying ‘Wish you were here’
so when he gets back home he doesn’t forget
If you’re right & I’m not, I’m going to be hell to live with, she said. So, you better think about that next time you want to be right.
I’ve always thought death was a lot like Christmas, he said. I can’t wait to find out if being good the whole time was worth it.
they only look small, she said, if you’re someone who’s fond of being bigger than everyone else
he followed the sun & she followed the stars & in dreams they listened closely for the beginning of all things, for that was where they knew they’d find each other
I’ve always liked the time before dawn because there’s no one around to remind me who I’m supposed to be, so it’s easier to remember who I am
Bed of Nails
I made a bed of nails once like they do in India, but my mom said I’d need my tetanus shots first so after awhile I just leaned it against the garage & threw apples at it & watched them stick.
I have a friend who reads people’s auras. He sees all sorts of colors like green & red & purple. He says anyone can do it. All it takes is forgetting everything you think you know & just looking. I’ve tried it & even though I haven’t seen any colors yet, everyone I meet looks so beautiful when I stop knowing everything, that it’s pretty hard to go back to the old way.
Of course I act like a barbarian, he said. They’re the only ones who have any fun in this life.
My great aunt told me once to remember that old people need bananas. I remember. Someday I will tell my sons.
He used to make model balloons & send them off to Macy’s with a note that they could use them free of charge for their parades. After Macy’s filed for bankruptcy he just shook his head. A better balloon could’ve turned that whole situation around, he said.
Whenever she stood in line at the bank, or while waiting for the bus, I noticed her feet. The right always in front & perpendicular to the left just so. Even after 2 children, she still dreamed of being a dancer.
I have a friend who used to ride bareback in a circus. In one picture I’ve seen she is wearing blue sequins with her smile spread wide as her arms. One time I asked her was it hard to balance? No, she said, you always balance. Only sometimes, she added, you balance on your butt.
If you had to balance as much stuff as I do, she said, you’d take an hour in the bathroom every morning too.
This is a poison soup to kill all the bad witches, she said. How can you tell the difference? I asked. O, good witches are very polite & say no thank you. Bad witches just die.