There are things in my mind that no one except I can see. Those things, demons, grotesque that taunt me. I hear them coming closer, but I’ll fuck them up. They want to destroy me. I, so ashamed of my age, only a drunk and you there in your profession and you have this tone to your voice. I let you in my home. I am offended. Look at me a Black woman, you must think, reduced to this just a drunk, that’s what I say. I have missed out on so many things. Alcohol is not the problem. I am the problem. I have great grand babies I have not met. And my son who died would have been almost 40, yes. The one who lives doesn’t know how I am here. I had an aunt who raised Pothos plants, and the vines would grow across the top of her windows. Yes, those are it. Look at those leaves, simply beautiful and mottled just like me. I should get one. They are sturdy, they could put up with me. I look down a lot, don’t I? Oh now, I’ve started crying like a fool. I’m old, I weep sporadically. You asked if I had drink today. Can you smell the alcohol? Let me excuse myself, I’ll be right back, have you seen my matches? Why are you here? You’re a lovely little thing and I am little too, but I belong to those who dwell by the back alley. The state grants me this nice room and they’ve not yet plucked the thorns from my soul buried into to me deeply by these streets. Are you the thorn plucker? Be careful how you weed this sickness from me. I might not be able to stop bleeding. I will be fine. Your eyes are a strange color. You wouldn’t be the devil coming to take me? I resent your calm and your character, your understatement, and your concern for me. Do I speak like you thought I would? Are you surprised at my poise? Of course, you’re not. You are one who knows better. Alas, I don’t feel like a statistic with you. Have you guessed that I too have read Baldwin and Joyce? And here we are together with those demons of mine in the corners. I can see through the pieces of my heart at the pit of my belly that your heart is breaking for me. You do not see a Black woman at all do you? You, in your profession and your sterile words and your tone, you see me, don’t you? My daddy used to call me Jasper, his baby girl with ashy feet.
3 thoughts on “Shulamite”
Wow!! Stream of consciousness extraordinaire!
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thank you friend xo
The biblical allusion in the title was profound.
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