Lorette C. Luzajic is from Toronto, Canada. Her prose poetry and small fictions are widely published, with recent or forthcoming appearances in Gyroscope, Free Flash Fiction, Bright Flash, Club Plum, Red Eft, and Indelible. A recent story won first place in a contest at MacQueen’s Quinterly, and she has been nominated several times each for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Her most recent of five poetry collections is Pretty Time Machine: ekphrastic prose poems. Some of her works have been translated into Urdu. Lorette is founder and editor of The Ekphrastic Review, a journal devoted to literature inspired by art. She is also an award-winning visual artist, with collectors in 25 countries from Estonia to Qatar. Visit her at www.mixedupmedia.ca.
You come cocky and bleached, blonde over bronze, you come with big words and bigger swagger. But a few steps from here, you will disappear, unseen, unnoticed, into the city. I don’t know you and I don’t have a thing I owe to you, but it still cuts deeply to look back and think of you in pieces on that bridge. Your defiance was a lifeline but you let it slip. What if I could give you a code? What if these hieroglyphs could keep you? Ibrahim in eyeliner, in Gucci, and still you couldn’t find that sun. You sipped on soda; I talked shop and kicked back espressos. It gets better is a lie. It gets harder, but you can, I could, I did. I will. Only you won’t. You didn’t. You are dissolving, you are someone I hardly knew, but I still see your candor and bravado, those big dreams like flares in that river of darkness.
The dreams are mostly gone. He doesn’t visit nearly as often as he used to, midnight cowboy or the ghost of Christmas past or any of the other costumes that he donned. There is life after death, after all, and life is for the living. Instead of courting spirits in slumber, you are out there, singing in the shower, and looking for love, and you have painted everything yellow.
Violets For Your Furs
I bought you violets for your furs, and it was spring for awhile…Frank Sinatra
1. You said heaven would be purple, you said a lot of things.
2. Spring’s been knocking softly this year. Too timid to dissolve winter.
3. I watched my father pin a flight of petals to the mink that mother bought for herself, with his dime. I watched him fade to black inside summer. The calyx of cancer would not wait for fall.
3. What if we always got what we wanted? What if we never had to second guess our wants, or shift positions? If I only ever asked for story, history might find remember me as interesting, or even brave.
4. If inside of that, I had secretly wanted normal, hoped for someone to understand me, I’m still coming up blank, unwritten, a heap of metaphors in a sunset.
5. Listening to Billie sing, I think, addiction is just a case of moth to flame. The soul seeking intensity.
6. My life coach says, it’s understandable, you want to feel good, you find ways that work. Find another way. My shrink says, you want to feel bad, to punish and destroy yourself, for things you think you did but did not do. My doctor says, take these instead. Forget everything.
6. I do. But I don’t. I won’t. I can’t.
7. Spring fades fast, fleeting, flux flight in flickering lavender light. My father is blooming in a field of dandelions, school bus yellow, before falling into August, and everything after.
8. I have buried everything. I have risen from the dead. I write his name in scattered violets. Beg heaven to let me in to see him. Wave my season’s pass.
9. You covered me in flowers. Buried me before my time. Brought me Billie Holiday records, Bessie, Ella, Esther, tipped my face to the sun. I can’t stop trying to find you, can’t stop writing these poems.