Prose poetry by Rebecca Myers

THUMB OR FINGER? 

A kamikaze rogue departs the safe dock of your waterline, escapes the brine and softly lands atop the sand dune of your cheek, exposed. This strand becomes a stowaway of its own will, hitchhiker cushioned on my index pad, its journey stilled upon my hand as I pinch tight,for fear of losing sight of this most precious bounty, hairline gift, adrift ’tween thumb-and-fingertips. Then comes the bit where you must guess correctly where it clings to, where it lingers once my fingers part. Your knack for knowing’s like an art so soon enough, your thinking’s slowing, concentrating, mind fixating on some special sacred thing. They sayyou daren’t tell or show me (if you do it won’t come true). Before I know it, on a wisp ofwind you’ve blown it, sent it sailing on a zephyr of desire. I’m inhaling deeply now, with furrowed brow and nostrils flared, it’s all I care about – to sniff it out, then breathe it in, this fragrant and forbidden sin – imagining if I try hard enough, somehow, I’ll sense some secret snuff or scent upon your breath that might reveal a whisper of your wants, betray a waft of an aroma, heady perfume made of dreams suspended on your mouth-warm breeze, now drifting up through beams and rafters. I want the best but fear disaster, so devise a private counter-curse, a solemn vow, in case enchanted eyelids are pretend. I surreptitiously intend on going rogue myself; a solo mission, full of stealth. The aim? To craft a handmade future; sew and knit and stitch and suture your wild wishes in a patchwork quilt of sorts,to drape across the pillow fort of possibility we built from make-believe, where all our pleasures are guilt-free. There, beneath our blanket-canvas tent, I will attempt to wrap you, swaddle you in scraps of rapture, joy and laughter, pull and gather deepest reveries together in an every-weather cover, graft and garner every other frayed loose edge, all taped and plastered at the seams by stubbornness and keen determination for a life (alive enough) to meet your tallest expectations. With each wayward lash I grasp, I know I’ll stay steadfast beside you as our story stiffens. Fickle Fortune will not get a say, nor Lady Luck dictate our fate – too late, it’s already begun; my spool is spun into a cross-my-heart embroidered net; a trap I set before your eyes for those skydivers, carelessly cascading from the brink of where you blink, only sinking so far ’til I catch and ask you what’s your inkling, ‘Thumb or finger?’ Overthinking is a waste of time, choose the former, or the latter if you like – it doesn’t matter trust me – here’s the thing: this little line of keratin concealed within my prints, is not your hostage destiny, nor is it a magic key. Another thing: you’re capable and worthy of receiving.To achieve exactly what we’ve made-believe we simply need to split it into chunks, divide it up into small slices, finely chop them, mince and dice them, bite-sized items easier to chew, metabolise exactly what we’ve made – believe you me I’ll scrimp and slave until your favourite aspirations are your truth – and someday you’ll flashback and say you prayed upon a lost eyelash so long ago for this and I’ll remember my hedge betting, second-guessing, never knowing if the ritual was real or if my memories are cataracts concealing things I can’t explain; like that first stray that dipped and ducked from your tear ducts to be picked up by me, revealed, then blown away by you for our good cause. Perhaps I’ll pause and think, whether self-made or genie-winked, whichever way, we paved a winding path to find an end that will have made believing and pretending worth the while.

About the contributor

Rebecca Myers is an Irish-born, New Zealand-based poet and sometimes playwright. She records her poems, memories, thoughts and stories at www.auntbaggy.wordpress.com, a blog that acts as a time-and-place-capsule for her niece and nephews in the hopes that they’ll feel connected to her through her words even continents away.

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