Nebraska Center for Writers

UPON LEARNING THAT YOUR SPOUSE IS HAVING AN AFFAIR A WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS
by Cat Dixon

The hairs on the back of your neck stand
at attention—soldiers
ready to march into shock. It’ll burn,
not like a lightning bolt that cracks
white hot and then disappears leaving you
to smolder, no, more like a shock administered
as you’re strapped down for your therapy.
The jolts send you into spasms
and all you held dear falls
from your hands—a slippery fish
that you detached from the hook
and he wiggled; the gills sliced your fingers,
and you let go.
His body slapped the wooden dock,
then flipped over and over
until he plunged back
into the water. Just let that one go.
But this doctor who has you pinned, who
pulsates electricity through your body,
refuses to let you leave. You’re fried.
A flame tunnels down your body
desperately seeking the earth
and like a charred tree, all that remains
is bark covering the ground.

Reprinted with permission
Copyright © 2012
by Cat Dixon


TABULA RASA
by Cat Dixon


From behind one-way glass,
I stare. The line-up
is comprised of him and him
and several more.
I point to each and each
is called forth—
come straight, turn to the side,
move to the back wall.

When asked who did it,
I say everyone in the room.

The men sent to cells, the officers
go home; a janitor
sweeps by with a broom,
so I tap the glass,
call over the mike
to the narrow, empty tomb.

Reprinted with permission
Copyright © 2012
by Cat Dixon


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