Sunday, November 7, 2010

shrine reading

His pale blue feet, a color just this side of frostbite, are
bare. In both hands, drawn close to his chest, he holds an offering of
corn. He’s fallen and lost his face more than once, it’s been imperfectly
glued back on, much of his frontal lobe missing. The cardinal that once
perched on his shoulder, long gone.

I bought him for Uma and Balloo, my first pair of babies. His watchpost
on the sill faced out of the south picture window, out onto their favorite
barking spot. But that was then, at the old house. This is now, with my
second pair of babies, the human pair, in the new house. Saint Francis
has wandered, now standing in the middle of my bathroom shrine, my life in
two parts, divided by his feet. What am I to him?

Small. An inch tall to his twelve. I’m a glass screw top bottle, filled
with transparent almond oil, my lid a third of the spread of my base. The
words Dulcinea and LEIGH scripted in gold across my face. Dulcinea, the
deceptively real but imagined love of Hidalgo Don Quixote.

Saint Francis of the Missing Frontal Lobe, has morphed into my father and
towers in my family shrine. Imagine, born beneath that angry star.
Standing beneath his angry feet. My mother, the daughter of nuns, the wife
of an aspiring prophet, and the bearer of his evil progeny, me.
for Lighthouse Flash Forms Workshop
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