Four Ways To Write The Word 'FLY' by Ann Walters

There was a fly in the room. No one was dying, but it buzzed anyway, snapping along the window, beating itself against the glass.

She wanted him to take back the words. She wanted him to say they were clues to the daily crossword, that he was practicing lines for a new play, that this was an elaborate plot device she would understand later, in a few days, weeks, months.

She kept on writing her name but it didn't look real. There were too many papers to sign.That damn fly kept hitting the pane, pinging, buzzing. She signed the final page, rolled it up, and took her best shot.

There was a fly in the room, dying.

They are flying down to Rio because that's where all the action is, all the hips and breasts, sequins sparking riots with their light. Pandemonium is a two-step, a hummingbird screaming down the wind. They are circling each other.His hands make quick work of black ties and buttons, of lengthy zippers. Her lips are red enough to leave a stain. They dance the starred night, twilight and morning, belligerent noon. As one they soar across the gleaming floor shedding glitter and grace. They dance among twisted sheets, coming to rest in a borrowed nest. Their feathered masks quiver with a dream of flying.

Fly away spirit, like ash on the wind, like bone spilling up from underground. Fly away and seek the higher place. Honeycomb, mountain oak, cloud bank. Freedom is an open space, a closed canyon of the mind. Fly low into coal seam and backwater. There is nothing to hold on to here. There is nothing. Like lightning in the distance the moment fades. Fly away, spirit, fly away.

Her words are razor blades flying on the wind. See how the letter stumbles on stone walls, on piles of dried mud. See how it catches in the crook of a dead child's arm just long enough to absorb blood and ichor. The soldiers got their mail today. It came at noon, in a small truck, in an alley, in time for him to read the news and lose his lunch. She didn't even use the pretense of calling him dear. She didn't say she'd wait. If words could detonate these would have exploded and taken the entire village. Small talk was never her language. No prattle about shoe sales or long weekends, no memories of Tahoe and the infamous ski incident. The letter flies on a desert wind, lifting higher. Bright sun catches the single word 'goodbye' while down in the sand the envelope lies, pinned by the weight of a gold ring.


2010 - Walters

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