Alison Scarpulla

xxix. ash

by Theresa Williams

dear simon warren, my neighbor, k. riddle … the worst of all law abiding citizens … reports any and all infractions.  once used a payphone to report her own husband for a trivial thing only because it pissed her off. i m not trying to be crude. she told me this herself. 

the other day my postal clerk, h. brown, told me the city wanted to claim half her yard for some kind of pipes. she told them no. they said, we will sue you. she said, go ahead.  her son is dying of leukemia. it makes her fearless.

the laws of nature aren’t really laws. at yellowstone old faithful is no longer faithful. i went to see it, and it kept me waiting. much better, the moments before, watching a crow glide over steam pits. i stayed a long time. the crow made soft clicking sounds with its beak.    

last night i watched a movie about a woman named wendy who was at the end of her string, heading to alaska, the last frontier, in hopes of work. she stole a can of iams for her dog. they jailed her and charged her fifty dollars. she then lost her car and her dog. she learned her lesson but which one did she learn.

today is one of the coldest days. i burn ash. the smell is sour, not sweet like the apple i burned before.  

bradner, ohio, usa


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