Saturday, 6 June 2020

'Refashioning Another Clumsy Gift from My Mother Into Something I Really Want' by Anika Carpenter

Clack, clack, clack thirty cold glass moons make lazy orbits around my throat. I wear this necklace like a fallen halo. You bought it while you were away in New York, for work. You said: “It’s just like the one Frida Kahlo’s wearing in that self-portrait, you know,  the one she painted when she was in Detroit recovering from a miscarriage”. Frida’s necklace was pre-Columbian made from Jade, mine is revamped sand. I’d rather we’d have gone to the beach so I could feel the grit between my toes, that’s how you make pearls. But  I swallow it. Like a bird. Gulp, crane my neck to the sky and force it bead by bead to the pit of my stomach.

Back when I was trying and failing to get work, you booked us onto a bread making course.  You’re not skilled with words. I forgot to bring an apron and to flour my hands.  Wet dough clung to my fingers, tangled my hair into buds, did its best to fashion me into something less shapeless.

Folding over, stretching myself out, folding over, stretching out. My guts work Not Frida’s Necklace into a slippy, grey paste, fashion something vital, an owl, a fish?  It feels like a fish, flexing and pushing its way up the back of my throat. When I throw up, I cry, but there’s no pool of vomit no stench just a cherub, the size of an apology. A ghost-baby paperweight heavy as granite, grinning.

1 comment:

  1. Really powerful ending, and I was hooked from the title! Great read.

    ReplyDelete

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The next FlashFlood will take place National Flash-Fiction Day 's 10th Anniversary, next mass-writing event taking place on 26 June 2021...