February 13, 2008
By Jennifer Gilbert, West Chester, PA

"The very definitions sears the inhibition of
a goose skin chilling shriek. Chatty
like English afternoon tea with all
those wrinkled women and soggy teacakes, yet
coarser somehow, crackling out of your
mouth. It’s sprinkled with wax shavings that held
humble Christmas candles, only to nurse
the same flames that tear toward thinning
dynamite string. Rising asthmatic,
breathless - the very air during the paper-thin
hiss of the ingénue's dying line, right when
her smooth soprano voice crinkles like her
origami body, collapsing to the ground in folds,
and the room roars with uneven applause.”

Then he took a long, wavy breath,
threw the dictionary in the trunk,
tossed me a piece of grape taffy that exploded
in my mouth like a violet firework,
opened the side door,
and drove me home,
tense shudders of exhaust
and his breath
filling the vehicle.

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