by AM Roselli ~ Salisbury Mills, New York, USA
Nella wants to tie people down. Not everyone. Just those with hair like piles of snow. Their old translucent skin resplendent in odd brown patches and mottled crimson swatches. Nella believes wrinkled skin is cosmically linked. She must bind old people together and connect their age spots with Sharpies to make star maps to God. Old bodies are closer to heaven each day. She has visions.
The giant Moai heads of Easter Island are not empty. No one is empty. Nella feels empty. Her head hurts all the time. She sees invisible stars on wrinkled skin.
The other night while she was walking home from the Quik Mart with a coconut macaroon stuffed in each pocket, an elderly couple strolled by her. They were so close, Nella could smell the accumulated years on their skin. The gentleman held, not his wife’s bony elbow, but a tiny Pomeranian. The hobbling couple were glowing more than the bitty dog’s sequined collar. Twinkling glass shards embedded in the grimy sidewalk dulled to dirt near their worn shuffling shoes.
Nella thought about using her green belt to tie them together but feared her pants would fall down. Besides that, the Pomeranian would likely bite her in the ass. And anyway, she wasn’t armed with a stalwart Sharpie. The Quik Mart worker said they expected a Sharpie shipment sometime tomorrow. Nella was dubious. The young man behind the counter had done nothing but stare at her breasts. She’d forgotten to wear her only bra, blue and decorated with black Sharpie stars.
Not defeated, just delayed, Nella climbed the seven flights to her apartment. She ate her coconut macaroons and danced by herself. She used her long brown hair to dust the floor while dreaming about star maps.
Her head is not empty. It is full of ropes and lights and hammers. Endless headaches reminded her to work when she feels lazy. She needs God’s help.
She swallowed the last bits of coconut then leaned out her apartment window.
Down below, so many old people to tie together. So many chances to find salvation. ■