Toni Scales


Note the power of the horizontal closeup.
The impossibly angelic figure.

The floral print pillow
and the checkered gingham dress.

Watch her swoon.
The camera tracking druggedly back and forth.

Always the light manipulated into baptismal suggestion.
All the angles dissolving, reframing themselves.

Too much color now, it dismantles me.
The road so yellow it makes your teeth ache.

The point at which every detail
becomes a terrible consequence.

Watch as she coagulates her many selves
into some semblance of a woman.

That time you bent me over the doll case,
wisteria bending mournfully toward the window.

The point in the path
where it's too late to turn back.

I learn the aspect ratio of your body.
The dark mise en scene of your mouth.

The heightened sense of action.
The blissful unreality.

The house inside her head, spinning.
Even the red velvet curtains make me hot.

Toni Scales is an ex-funeral director's assistant living in her native town of Corpus Christi, Texas. Writing is the only thing that makes her feel giddy and liberated. Her work has appeared in Lily, Wicked Alice, blossombones, and The Pedestal Magazine.

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