Glowie Excerpt

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This is an excerpt from an unfinished piece called Glowie. When I started it I thought it could be good but now I don't know. Probably not. It is not being what I wanted it to be. It has become too gay, maybe.


Glowie stands in front of the mirror in her bedroom on Sunday morning. Rays of sunlight are spreading and touching her skin. She takes off her slip and lets it fall to the floor. She stares at her reflection, sees a thin white body and flat chest. Traces the line of ribs and hipbones with her index finger. The sun brightens and gives her skin more color, a sort of milky pink.

"Skeleton girl," Glowie says. "You are like paper. You are made of smoke."

She goes to her dresser and pulls out clean blue jeans and a white t-shirt and underwear but no bra. She gets dressed and combs her hair and paints her fingernails with sparkly silver nail polish and lays down on her bed and waits for the nail polish to dry.

Maizie bursts into the room and runs around the bed and jumps on the bed and laughs and Glowie sits up. Maizie takes the brush and starts brushing Glowie's hair.

"You have the best hair," Maizie announces. "It's like gold."

"It's too flat and thin," Glowie says.

"No no no," Maizie says. "It's perfect."

Maizie finishes brushing Glowie's hair and tosses the brush onto the dresser and stands up and starts jumping on the bed and pretending to fall on Glowie, who shrieks.

Maizie collapses on the bed and lays next to Glowie and holds her hand.

"You tired today?" Maizie asks. "You gonna write any poems today?"

"Yes," Glowie says.

"Sarah and me are going rollerskating," Maizie tells her. "You wanna come? There's gonna be a DJ and hot boys. I'm learning to skate backwards. It's hard."

"No," Glowie says. "Thanks."

Maizie leans over and kisses her on the neck. "Bye then," she says. "You want me to bring you back some cotton candy? Pink or Blue?"

"Pink," Glowie says. "The blue stains my teeth."

"Okay," Maizie says. "Later, okay?"

"Later," Glowie says.

After Maizie leaves Glowie goes to her desk and sits down and opens a drawer and takes out some sheets of very pale blue paper and a pen. She straightens the sheets of paper until they are perfectly square and sits with her fists against her cheeks, concentrating.

She picks up the pen.

She writes a ten word poem. The poem takes one hour to write.

The poem contains the phrases "my urgent fists" and "the panicked bees".

Glowie reads the poem 3 times. She decides it is finished.

She draws three small fireflies in the upper right corner of the sheet and signs her name in cursive. She opens the drawer and places it carefully on top of a stack of slightly curled sheets containing many other ten word poems. She wipes tiny beads of sweat from her upper lip. She puts the rest of the paper and the pen back in the drawer and goes over and lays face down on her bed and listens to muffled traffic sounds outside her window and falls asleep. A little while later her mother comes into the room quietly and takes a comforter out of an oak chest at the foot of the bed and covers her with it and leaves.


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