the guilt comes now

 It is now, as I'm bending down the bough to reach the overripe fruit. I ignore it; it will go away, in time, as all things do. I am no exception. Brittle bones, and the need to fill my stomach with the sickening-softness and fetid juice. I am no exception.
    
 A burning train. A man with a hand in his pocket, thumb rubbing the inner fabric, circles, circles, circles. A thirteen-year-old woman-child. Her baby has drowned.
    
  I eat and eat and eat but my stomach is as empty as the red ground. This tree, this adolescent tree, this dying teenage tree--all that I remembered to leave in the hard clay world I turned over and smashed. A terra-cotta bowl.
    
  And now it is dying, as all things do. I am no exception.
    

The End

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