Six Micros by Sheldon Compton


Absent but Here


TWENTY YEARS AND AGAIN

A roach across the floor with the light chasing its thick body, the cornea-thin wings.

There were roaches before, but I was younger then and Mother not nearly so sick.


THE GUEST ROOM

This is your bedroom, baby. I love it, I love it, she said. She ran to the porcelain cat curled on the nightstand. Pink! I love it. I juat love it. I had told her I hoped she'd like it. She liked it, I'm sure, for me. A soul so old for a girl missing only three teeth from new gums.


A PICTURE FOR MARKING MY PLACE

Great Biographies. Stacks of these, a series, in the back bedroom, through a door like a caught mouse, a splinter of screech trying to escape, an outward swinging of this sound alarming my arrival. The books I shuffle like old cards. Thumb-flipping through one, there's my picture, wincing into the sunlight, standing, as always, in exactly the wrong spot.


THE MERCY PRAYER

Somewhere there's a road that curves in England. I'm not sure how that helps, but to think of it. A curvy road, flatly paved, rolling between rye grass and ending somewhere where answers take you by the hand. Think of that, and not of this.


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