Conversation with Erika

By Michele Vavonese
By Michele Vavonese

By Sarah ChristianScher

Erika sits at the doily-strewn table
hands folded in lap,
wings tucked politely behind the back of the chair,
good china rattling as the town is struck
by an earthquake which no one feels.

The two of you sip tea
while the orange slices sit untouched on the plate,
blinking in and out of existence with increasing frequency.

It seems to you that the conversation is all trivialities;
the state of the bowling alley,
the upcoming summer reading program,
the number of helicopters circling above your heads.

Erika is at the door.
You can’t recall seeing Erika rise,
but you stand as well
your chair moaning against the tiles
as the small house is dipped slowly into mid-day darkness
like a cherry into chocolate.
Erika gives you some advice:

watch out for traveling fly salesmen;
you don’t want what’s in his suitcase.

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