So She Seams

When she noticed it took her 2 minutes longer than it usually did to set out all the silverware for dinner, she knew there was a problem. He hadn’t seemed to notice though, nor did he remark about the tightness around her mouth or her wincing when she bent or moved in a particular way. The table was laid out as beautifully as it ever was, every spoon, fork, and knife in their expected places.

He had smiled, running a finger down the curve of the spoon at his place setting, but did not say a word to her as she managed to make it to the kitchen without crying out.

She allowed herself to stand and breathe deeply for thirty seconds once the kitchen door closed behind her. Was there enough time? A glance at the clock told her there was, but she’d need to be quick. The roast would be ready soon.

She pulled several hairs from her head. Her well-practiced fingers wove them into a serviceable thread in under a minute. I’m getting faster, she thought, letting her mouth relax into it’s first smile that day. Now came the hard part.

She had chosen her frock carefully this morning, both for its pockets and ease of opening in the front. Her special needle case came out first. She opened it and caressed the line of off-white needles. She remembered when each of these slivers of bone were parted from her body. What a waste it would have been not to save them. Selecting the largest, she threaded it with her hair then placed it on the table, so she could undo her dress.

As she pushed the needle in and out of her skin, her mind registered that the hole had indeed gotten bigger. It didn’t matter. She had woven enough thread to do the job. Gritting her teeth as she pulled her needle taut to seal up her flesh, she made the finishing knots and cut the needle loose with the kitchen shears. She cleaned off the needle and put it back into its spot inside her case. Then she rearranged her clothing and tucked the case into her pocket.

One more glance at the clock. She had timed it perfectly. Wearing her second smile of the day, she pulled the roast out of the oven and arranged it on the serving platter. The high from getting everything done kept her back straight as she walked from the kitchen to the dining room. Everyone is at their place now, along with the spoons, forks, and knives. Everyone watched as she brought it in.
She was not sure if the wrinkle in the carpet had been there before she went to the kitchen or if it had been made while she was there. Either way, she stumbled when her feet encountered it, and her pretense at gracefulness fell too. She managed to get the platter on the table with a loud thump, but she didn’t know if the thump was from the platter hitting the table or the sound her innards made when they burst from their seams to land besides the roast.

He turned away, covering his mouth with a serviette. "Why did you do that? Darling, you've made me so uncomfortable," he said.

She smiled her third and last smile of the day, one more beautiful and terrible than the ones that came before.

Song Choice: Voices Carry covered by Sky Ferreira

This short fiction was created for Beautiful Freaks Fest 2 and is an expansion on a poem I wrote earlier, Uncomfortable.

Signature of a Scar

I couldn't resist doing something special for the big blog party happening this weekend, hosted by Magaly GuerreroEmma Yardis and me. It's open to artists and artisans of all sorts, just be sure your work is centered around the theme of scars. Interested? Go to Madame Magaly's page for the details and add your name to Mr. Linky.

In the meantime, here's a small poem I created to get people in the mood. Just click on the link to enjoy or read the full piece undereath the link.

Scars are memories you see
written on flesh,
visible and touchable.

They are dividing
lines declaring,
"There was a before, but

I am here
alive in the after."

The world turns away 
from any reminders
that we must all die.

But a scar can suggest
that day has not happened yet,

and there is no point in crawling
into pre-dug graves
when there are signs on our skins
telling us we can survive.

This poem is linked up to Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads' Tuesday Platform


He waits in the other room
expectant that all will go on
as it's done before.

Dinner is time for all
the knives, forks and spoons
to pleasingly line up.

She rips hair from her head,
weaves them to make a fine thread.

A sliver of bone salvaged
from when it first was shattered
makes a serviceable needle.

She sews flesh to unsightly flesh,
restraining her squirming viscera.
A tug of the needle and it's done.

She is free to carry the food,
while everyone waits.

It was a small misstep
that caused her to drop
the pretense of gracefulness,
as the seams finally give.

Blood blends with the gravy
though intestines are less inconspicuous.

He turns away,
covers his mouth with a serviette.
"Why did you do that? Darling,
you've made me so uncomfortable."

Song Choice: Originally I thought Killing in the Name cover by Brass Against featuring Sophia Urista. but only because this song has been giving me life during the last week. No, the best song for this poem is Voices Carry by Til Tuesday. I'm only leaving the first song link up because it's an awesome cover and everyone should hear it.

This poem is linked to Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads Tuesday Platform