from The Rainy Season Diaries
You have been betrayed by stories. You say this house will never be made of gingerbread. It does not appear to fall apart as the result of huffing and puffing. Wrongly imagining knight errantry was compatible with society, we have converted the poet into a wage laborer. Magic beans are not, if you recall, something we can buy around here. And there are rules about wishing for more wishes. Only the mirror knows the price of transformation. A pot of boiling water. A cat curling into sun.
You list the words you always misspell. The things I should know before I—. You bring me a little gold fish and say its magic binds us. At midnight, I wait for my fish to vanish into pumpkins. Here no one sleeps. Here no one dreams.
An open atlas reminds us of our rootlessness. We bend pages: all places cannot be ruined. We trace the gold embossing and understand the charms of nostalgia. It settles when you call me by my pet names. You say so much muchness with the most peculiar elegance. But who will remember these wished wishes. Who will break the codes or tell the stories. I have kept all your letters. I used to imagine your lips along envelopes, your breath on paper. As if you could stay, spelled, between the sheets of rotting books.
Today the lavender is blooming. She makes lists to pass the time: Things That Begin to Disappear Slowly Over Time Until One Day They Are Gone. Things I Take. Things In Need of Constant Attention. It was raining and she remembered a dream she had in which it rained for so long that the house began to fall apart. She laughed because it seemed to her that the whole world was not ending, but that it had never existed in the first place. When she woke, the sun was shining. Things Which Begin to Dim Upon Waking. She has collected enough fruit to make preserves but when she went to the kitchen the water wouldn’t boil. Strange Things. She found $20 in the pocket of your pants—the ones you left on the chair. She didn’t put it on top of the dresser where you keep your watch and spare change. Instead, she put it in her pocket. Tomorrow, she will walk to the store and buy a piece of chocolate.
Jennifer Reimer’s fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of journals, including Our Stories, The Denver Quarterly, The Berkeley Poetry Review, The Chaffey Review, 580 Split, Tinfish, Puerto del Sol, Weave, Zoland, and 14 Hills. She has an MFA from the University of San Francisco. Her first prose poetry book, The Rainy Season Diaries, will be released in early 2013 by Quale Press. She is the co-founder and co-editor of Achiote Press (www.achiotepress.com). She is an Assistant Professor of American Culture & Literature at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey.