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Unfinished

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The paper wasn’t very thick
but it was a soft creamy color
like the sheets on my mother’s bed
and the ink was a standoutish black
like our windows
Misty. There was a gentle creeping mist outside
Colder than the warm hand that caressed my cheek.
Cold like a misty morning.
Then as we stepped up, it got warmer
like a chocolate cherry
and cozy
like a cinnamon bun
and the sweaty palm of my brother gripping my hand
like a hawk does a mouse
There was a steady chugchuging (chugclunkchugclunk)
slower than my heart
and when we unloaded (not dissimilar from prize cows)
the rain was mad (madder than a bull)
it hit us in the back
as if we had done something bad and it was saying
Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Don’t do that.
and the creamy paper with the bold black letters
turned to a soggy mass that you eat for breakfast.
And the stout lady with the fever red cheeks
who tried to smile bravely
like Chamberlain at the podium
tallied us on a clipboard
like dollars in a cash register
Clicky heels and pomaded hair admired us from each side
like paintings in the British Museum
and the sweaty palm pulled me to large fancy car
like a hearse
The seats were cold
like a lamppost in December
The eyes were cold
like an icebox in July
The air was cold
like a coin on skin
and in my hand the fountain pen was cold
like truth on lies.



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