Sunday, December 28, 2008

Paper Covers Rock by Chella Courington

I can’t stop buying scissors. I walk into Home Depot for geraniums & lilies, leave with gardening shears, green ergonomic handles. Gelson’s for halibut. Shiny poultry shears. At a garage sale I find a pair of hedge clippers. By December paper cutters, pinking shears, hair trimmers—any blades you want are boxed in the kitchen pantry.

Saturday he takes his 14 clubs & disappears. In hot water, I clean scissors. Prop them on the counter before drying with muslin. Each blade I shine with baking soda. In high school I hung with cutters. They used whatever worked: broken glass, coat hangars,paper. Arms tracked with violet scars like stretch marks. Hidden under long-sleeve shirts.

Reflections in a Golden Eye: Mrs. Langdon uses garden shears to clip her nipples when she loses her baby. Snip snip—easy as pinching off deadheads. Sunday in January, I hold my left nipple between the blades of barber shears. Warm steel triggers goose bumps. Is a nipple like a finger? Can they sew it back on?

Recurrent dream: blades-down, scissors drop from the ceiling, rattling & hissing. Impale the cherry nightstand, down comforter, my Land’s End bathrobe. I crouch in the tub, rocking to the sound of hail. Open my thigh—blood a rusty penny melting on my tongue.

I get an Alabama divorce. He signs the papers & hauls his Titliest clubs, Lazy Boy, & mahogany desk back to Illinois. Parting words: The cat stays with you. I never liked him. I keep Moot, the crystal, & the condo. Start selling the scissors on E-Bay
—box by box.

First appeared in Mademoiselle’s Fingertips (Summer 2008).


Maggie May said...

i love the way the language flows here but keeps it's meaning.

Brandon said...

Hey Chella, Thanks...I had an unfortuante incident with mark doty in which I unwittingly insulted him...I feel bad about it.

Maggie May said...

every time i read this, i like it more.

Michelle said...

Love this.