Erica Charis-Molling

Beautiful Fool

1.
There’s a woman on the roof and a woman on the sidewalk below,
each with their toes curled over the edge of a decision.
One of them is in love with the 3AM skyline with its unblinking eyes.
Both have baby blue eyes and whiskey on their breath and ears full
of high pitched whining. You could reach out and touch her arm,
the woman on the roof and the woman on the sidewalk,
even though the distance between them is the distance between where you are
and where you wanted to be.
Do not reach out your hand yet.

2.
There are two women with their toes curled over the edge,
one up on the roof and another on the sidewalk below. Call them Daisy.
Assume that the Daisy on the roof is a high diver, testing the wind,
waiting for the moment when falling will be more art than tragedy.
She could reach out and touch the stars if the streetlights hadn’t drowned them
and there’s a high pitched whine in her chest and the distance between the women
is nothing because it’s the distance between your smile
and the words trapped behind your teeth.

3.
You are at a bar and there’s a woman there who can’t stop playing
with the charm on her necklace and you swear you know her.
She has blue eyes and a smile that tells you she loves you,
or maybe that she used to love you. And then the phone rings
and a 3AM voice breaks like glass and says Hi, it’s Daisy. We need to talk.
But you can’t talk right now because you’ve got whiskey on your breath
and the woman at the bar is touching your arm and saying something
about the roof and the stars.

4.
You are one of four Daisys in a bar. The whiskey swirls in your glass
and the distance between you and the door is the distance
between the wind on the roof ledge and your indecision.
If you had picked up the phone, one of the Daisy’s would have told you
she is afraid of falling and that another is afraid of drowning
but the third is only afraid of the last thing she said out loud.
She would have asked you: Who do you want to be? as the charm
on your necklace slides back and forth throwing light on the face you love,
or used to love, and it’s like a star
or a window in the the stacked glass skyline.

5.
You are walking the last call sidewalk. Look into the unblinking eyes of the city:
some of them starlight, some of them empty whiskey glasses.
You are two of six blue eyes still open. Two of them are curling their toes
and two of them have beautiful sad smile and all of them are trying to tell you
something but all of their words are trapped behind their teeth.
You have always been on the roof. Lean into the wind and reach out your hand.
Listen: you are a 3AM high diver afraid
to put her face in the water and the charm
from your necklace is starlight
at the bottom of the pool.

Erica Charis-Molling is a creative writing instructor for Berklee Online. Her writing has been published in Borderline, Crab Fat, Broad!, The Yellow Chair, Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, and Anchor, and is forthcoming in Mezzo Cammin. Her cross-disciplinary collaborative work has been performed at Lesley University, the Lydia Fair, the Dance Complex and other community venues. She’s currently pursuing her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Antioch University and is an alum of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She posts excerpts of her performances and links to her publications on her blog: lettheceleryrot.wordpress.com.




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