CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
|From A Compendium of Domestic Incidents
For her 16th birthday, he gave her a wax statue of Desiderius Erasmus.
Two Girls Play Scottish Shinty
Two girls play Scottish shinty in the orchard. They stand goals
close together and take penalty shots. Oh, the things the girls
shout! Panting, they shrug off their ulsters.
A Defiant Raiment
visits the bedchamber too late. The poor dear has just succumbed! The
window has been thrown open and the doctor packs his bag noisily.
She Snips Rose Hips into the Hatbox, Crying
remembers her mother, how she sat outside the nursery window, in the
hedges. She put her hand and her shears on the windowsill. She tried
to crawl through the window!
dismounts her little stallion to slake herself at the river. A quantity
of windfall fruit has rotted in the water. She drinks and heaves,
drinks and heaves, and crawls to her little stallion. Her little
stallion stands still and lathered. She tries to grasp her little
stallion round the knees. He bares his bright teeth and bites her
neck. She gasps and vomits three plums onto the clay.
Dr. Augustine’s Book of Anatomy
He opens the book and stabs with his finger: hairy, thick-jointed,
topped by a black, gleaming nail. Only a moment before, the finger
parted her teeth, hooked the flesh of her cheek, tugging. Her mouth is
flooded with saliva, yet she feels dryness along her back molars,
identifies the taste of metal—pewter, she thinks—and garlic.
Poor Jack, Poor John
is coming!” The girls pause in their labors and share a fish. They
hold the fish between them, picking rapidly at the cheeks and spine.
The girls are greasy and their breath comes fast. They drop the fish
onto its bed of lettuce.
A Gate Made of Pitchforks
Josephine enters the cemetery where her mother is buried but there
are no headstones. Instead, she sees a field of celery. For years
after, everything, even boned capon in a netting of pork fat, even
lemon slices, even almonds, tasted of celery.
Corms and Gladiolas
Huddled in the garden, white snow on the ground, and white silk
flapping in the trees, two girls twist cold fingers through the curving
handles of their porcelain teacups. Steam rises. Candle wax flows down
onto the iron table and hardens, opaque. In the shape of the wax, one
girl sees the coast of France, the other, men’s bones and all