A Game Against Time: I
Lilac, a five-petal star, luck hidden somewhere among the dull four-petal clones. Everything is a sign directed at me, the world speaks in wild tongues of a place to build sand castles and cover the parapets with carved stone. Where watermelon juice washes down dust of the aging day. Where I close my eyes and listen to the well telling stories in the orchard, clothed in the thick smell of wet grass and branches heavy with bloom, bunches of straw set aside for a nest. Where it all comes from. I press my warm lips to the chins of tulips, my flower breath coming back with the wonder of open eyes. Where the woodpecker startles me, drowsy and full, and makes my stomach somersault as if when driving very fast up and down a hill. The rolling roulade is swirling in the trees, stirring and beating and fluttering through the air, throbbing from inside me, from under my ribs, up into the throat and into the eyes, itching and burning and blending the four sides of the world in a watercolor swirl.
Natalia Andrievskikh is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at Binghamton University. She grew up in a little provincial town in Russia reading tons of books and writing poems and children’s stories. After teaching English and literary analysis for two years at a local university, she won a Fulbright grant to study in the US. Natalia has taught literature courses at Binghamton University, published poems and essays, and served as Managing Editor of the literary journal The Broome Review. She likes fairy-tales, art house films, dancing, hazelnut chocolate, fashion shows, and black tea with lemon served in a tall glass with a traditional brass glass-holder (they serve tea like this on Russian trains, so it has the tingling flavor of travel).