August 10, 2009
By Sophie Bell BRONZE, Newton, Massachusetts
Sophie Bell BRONZE, Newton, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

She needs her eyes, pupils dilated, not trusting the space from doorway to bed in the blue darkness as she stumbles to release salty impurities from the wine from earlier that evening into the porcelain bowl. She drags her fingers over the light switch.

Or cold cream, cortisone cream, creams in tubes and bottles that line the cabinet,
Open by running fingers over the corner of the mirror and pulling the wooden tab.

And trails along walls downstairs
Fading fingertips, oil from different hands clutching railings.

Or stirring from a bed drenched in morning sunlight, the mattress strewn with yesterday's sensuality,
Today's hum of weed-wackers and construction. Still the fingermarks linger on the walls like shriveled ghosts in the shade, whispering reflections in my ears as he moves around in the kitchen downstairs.

Or the light switch, too close to the couch
Resulting in the baby's curious clamber up, and repeated flick
On/off. The wonder.
Sweet potato sticky fingers.

I use lemon-scented Fantastic and water to baptize these
Doorways and tables and places we touch in transition,

preparing for the neighbor's visit, my mother insists I stop dreaming and start cleaning.

I slowly wipe oily residue in circles, and the only sound in this stillness is that of the scrubbing away of time.

The author's comments:
I never noticed the way marks on walls accumulate until I was told to clean them, which made me realize how many stories the marks could hold, and how intricate and lovley life truly is.

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