wicked alice| fall 2009

current | archives | guidelines | blog | dgp| sundress




Roxanne Carter









i looked out of the window and watched as the waves sucked back, white froth coiling and leavening; suddenly her face appeared as if she was there, shining and beautiful! i have never seen her so clearly, so near. my heart, bloodthirsty, beat and i started to whisper. i whispered her name, i said her name against the glass, i said her name and i was ungovernable. i tried later to call her, again, from the sea, but she would not come. i pressed my lips against the windowpane and told myself, this is holy. i kissed the glass again and again until a fog rose upon it, a muted symphony of skin cells flecked with flossy spit. it is holy, i said. i use all my time thinking of her.



i must be cheerful. in the morning i work on the house. i put everything in order, i stack the teacups, i neaten the garden. the movements i have made, not only in cleaning and watering and washing, but also those made by my lips and my breath, have wasted and worn away my blood and bones. an orange may be a luxury but real success depends on decoration, floral arrangements and lighting. i must know how and when and wherewith to accept a proposal. water and air are vital, but they will not stay; they do not warm me. the charred remains of all substances, the milk of certain animals are bound to have a definite place in my way of living. on all occasions, under all circumstances and at any time of night i will be ready.



she flips the switch and the lights flick on, fill out the room. strange shapes leap around her, bend over her head, drawn by the slick scent of her skin, sucking up her violet stink. she casts her eyes over uncertain space, glides into a corner and stops. she pauses to take a breath and she stops, unable to move. for awhile she is unable to move, and then she goes back over her steps, holding her gaze steadily on the spot she’d stopped, attempting to persuade herself she hadn’t seen anything at all. before she can reach the moment, the lights go out and sink her in extensive black. she’d thought she’d saw a tall, white gleam; a gigantic proportion shining full. she stops to listen and she hears a door closing, the horrible crack of a socket igniting, the figure of the moon drifting through the window. she follows along the wall, and succeeds in reaching the stairs.






Roxanne Carter is an aviation enthusiast and has made a number of long cross-country trips in her own small plane. She lives in Denver, CO & you may visit her at www.persephassa.com