*Fiction Friday: Micropoetry Based on the Book

As spring was a time for renewal,
summer was a time for exhausting that renewal;
expectations, if not passions, were high
at the LDS Singles Conference—
where the meat market consisted of
cows, pigs, & chickens,
a few wolves in modest clothing,
& even fewer closeted cougars,
who couldn’t wait
to procreate.

Even tankinis,
when arms were raised,
could expose the womb’s
sacred flesh,
& immodesty led to the sin
that was second only to murder
but then,
100 years ago,
what women were allowed to wear now
would have been considered indecent then,
so Church rules changed with the times,
& it was only a matter of time
before they would change again.

The smells of hot dogs & popcorn
lingered in the humid, putrid air—
smells of humanity
that brought back that last day with Brad.
The flea market reeked like a wet dog—
this marketplace of cheap goods & cheap eats.
Just as antiques were old junk,
this was new junk.
Mother would say I was slumming,
shopping at a place where watermelons,
poorly-executed knockoff handbags,
& hematite jewelry with pendants the shapes
of unicorns, flip-flops, & yin-yang symbols
were the hot items.
Mother still preferred everything fresh & new—
straight from the factory & sanitized—
just like her new religion.

A gaggle of barefoot children with red faces
& dirty knees ran circles around me,
while a woman I assumed to be their pregnant mother
scolded them from her stall.
Her table was scattered
with butterfly bookmarks made of paper clips
& bows made of smiley-faced shoelaces.
In seeing how much this mother did,
I saw how little mine had done.

Life was an open-ended question,
for which I didn’t have any answers,
& a rhetorical one,
for which there was no answer.

Logline for Because of Mindy Wiley An Irish-Catholic girl coming of age in the Deep South during the New Millennium finds her family splintered when two Mormon missionaries come to her door, their presence and promise unearthing long-buried family secrets, which lead to her excommunication and exile.

Saying No to the One-Man Creepshow

He was Stan–
Stan the Man,
he said.
She was Jan–
Jan with the big cans,
she said,
which was why
she did not need
Stan the Man
with his ooey, too-dewy
wandering hands.

When he asked to take her to bed,
she said,
“Never to bed,
even if we wed.”

“In a car?” he asked.

“Never in a car–
no matter how fast or how far.”

“In an elevator?”

“Never in an elevator–
no matter how high or how low,
you will never be the way I go.”

“In the grass,
under a tree,
or on the roof,
facing the sea?”

“Never in the grass
or out of the grass,
under a tree
or over a tree,
on a roof
or off a roof–
not even off my rocker–
whether facing,
or defacing,
the sea.
You are gross,
you are gross,
don’t you smell,
don’t you see?”

“Try me,
try me,
you might like me,
you shall see.
Just one kiss,
and you will be in bliss.”

She shook her head and said,
“This ain’t green eggs and ham.
If I take you in,
I can’t just spit you out,
and swallowing,
with my being Catholic,
is not allowed.”

And so Stan the Man
became Stan the Mailman,
delivering only those
oh-so discreet packages
that women really wanted
(batteries not included).

Sweet Little Nothings

Leave your phone behind

He was a blond seeking a brunette,
scrolling through the gorgeous arrangements of pixels
with impressive stats,
but the day he was separated
from his virtual connection to the world,
he found a deeper connection in the one woman
who was everything the others were not—
whose essence was incense to his soul,
whose taste was strawberry coulis to his lips,
& whose voice was warm to his ear.