Bio Note: My day job is teaching community college students to write. I also write and publish mystery novels and poetry despite the pandemic, college consolidations, and the incredible boredom of technology. My poet husband, my sweet Labrador, a passion for recipes, and long walks keep me (minimally) sane. I’m deliriously happy to be vaccinated. Find me at www.laurelpeterson.com and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Like the fact that they all speak French— in this front left pocket of an English nation’s coat. Like the fireworks on Wednesday and Saturday nights, people packed politely all along the Quays above Cirque de Soleil’s tent of explosions and sparkle. the Vieux-Port streets stacked with cars like a rich boy’s toy chest. Like that the heels are so high and the skirts so short you can see France if you squat to pick up a dime in the dirt— and Jesus looms over it all, reaching his blessing hands out toward the St. Lawrence, and behind Him, the cross that Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve dragged to the top of Mont Royal to repay God for not washing them all out to sea. Like here we are, you and me, eating and drinking and playing and walking our feet to blisters and listening to Violette sing jazz she’s too young and pure to understand, grateful we still like each other, grateful we can remember life is good, remember we were young once, and this is what it was like.
Lost Friendship Revenge Fantasies
I. You call, asking to explain how much it pained you to abandon me. We meet at a bar, order drinks. The drinks arrive. Before you can begin, I drop money on the table, walk out. II. Your ex stays in touch, mostly for the mothering he hopes I’ll give him. When I refuse, he feels at home. I tell him we like him better than you. These days, he talks to you more than when you were married. He tells you everything. III. You want to grow peaches in your back yard. A peach tree has volunteered from a compost pit. Hope it wasn’t a hybrid. Hope all those squirrels you feed go on vacation at harvest. IV. At midnight, I take a pair of scissors and head to the feather labyrinth you lovingly created. The scissors are very sharp. The feathers, their throats are easily cut. VI. Crazy doctor divorces his crazy wife and marries crazy you. VI. New people move in next door to you. They own a German Shepherd, which they keep outside. It barks day and night. To cover the barking, they turn the hip-hop up loud, have weekend barbeques for all their friends. VIII. One day, you open your closets and all the things you have neglected avalanche.
Stan Stops to Look at the View
He was only a cyclist who stopped, to look back like Lot’s wife, fifty feet from a hairpin turn at the edge of a California canyon. How was he to know a blonde honeypot in the cutest little silver Fiat would come tearing down the straightaway, see him standing in his shiny tight shorts and little helmet and lose control, the Fiat banging through the guardrail and arcing out in a graceful leap like a deer, just before the hunter shoots.
©2021 Laurel Peterson
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