Moon Days Details | Holly Day

Gerry Shepherd
Variant One
©2021

Full Moon

We put through the request for more teeth, sharper teeth
retractable claws and thicker skin. The directive is fright
but it takes a couple tries before Development gets it right.

The changes need to be quickly reversible, otherwise
the game will be over before it begins. We punch the new changes
into the computer cards with careful precision, feed them through the input slot, 
wait. 

The changes correspond with the full moon, plenty of light
to make sure the schematics were followed properly. 
already, we note where improvements could be made, plan careful phrasing 
so as not to offend the tech department.

3 Days

I have the sudden desire

To eat paint chips, drink turpentine, root around in the garden
For toadstools and mushrooms
Fight a bear. The phone sits in its cradle, refusing to liberate me

From all of the good choices in life that brought me to this point
The conscious good-food choices and intermittent exercise
The firm shake of my head when offered dangerous substances

To ingest, to smoke, to shove up my ass.
There are things I did that could have led me to this point
But it doesn’t seem like there were enough.

Details and Damning

She tried to only focus on the cool, crisp raspy scratch
of starched hospital sheets, focus on how her sweat refused to be absorbed 
into the rubber mattress just beneath the sheets
clung to her backside in a warm pool. She wondered if
she rolled over, it would look as though she’d wet the bed
if she could roll over, if her friends would just look away
embarrassed for her, but she couldn’t roll over, she knew she couldn’t.

Her friends gathered around her bed and tried to distract her
from the chance, the fact, no, the chance, let’s not lose hope
that she would never be able to roll over again, to walk again
might never leave this room again, maybe frighten her 
away from the edge of death,  because yes, there could be death 
looming somewhere in the room, perhaps even capital D Death, 
a specter only she could see.
She would get better soon, they assured her.
They’d come by every day until she could come home.

There were more inane words of encouragement
from her parents, her lover, a stranger who had seen the accident
from the rails of a highway overpass, a stranger who kept describing
the accident in excited detail, as though someone in the room
might be writing a book about her accident
and he wanted them to get it right. All she remembered was seeing
rabbits scurrying out of the way as she spun out of control
a deer staring, curious, from the safety of a nearby stand of birch and fir
brittle, yellow cornstalks rising in waves to catch the car as it finally fell.

©2021 Holly Day
All rights reserved

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