• Cassandra Atherton


So, this time I’m the mover and shaker. Wobbly. Quaker. I chase the blue day down.
For  all  the  dog-rose girls who cry for emancipation.  I press thorny  issues into my
palms.  Roll them like cigars.  Under my thumb.  Spun between the leaves of a gilt-
edged book.  Treasure.  Treasury Notes.  Little Golden Books.  I wanted a platinum
three-ringed circus but he  bought me a choker for my neck nook.  I should treasure
it.  Like a trove.  But the black velvet band is a shoestring of stalactites.  Biting into
me. Mites.  Bed bugs.  Ticks.  Tick-tock.  Boom. I stand on tiptoes, reaching for the
last slice of the moon.






I was shopping in Louise Love when you severed the tip of your pinky. I was glad it
was your pinky.  Index fingers are so overrated.  You  were making mini meringues.
Pavlova.   Pavlov’s dog.   I was trying on a  begonia ‘Oh My Lord’  slip and deciding
between the lime gingham rosette and the scarlet velvet choker.You didn’t wait for
me.  You sliced the strawberries and  peeled the kiwi fruit before I had punched my
pin number  into  the machine. When I stopped to consider  the peach striped under-

wear,  the bald kiwi fruit  slid  across  the bench and you julienned your pinky.  You
didn’t wait for me. You didn’t even wait for me to get in my car. You picked up the
knife without thinking. You picked up the knife even though it is my job to slice the
fruit,  lengthwise.    In  twelve  segments.   Twelve  to  circumnavigate the  pavlova.
Pavlovae.  Twelve paper-thin slices to settle into the cream.  Kittens’ tongues.  You
picked up the knife. Sever. Severe. Serves you right.