Paranormal Foreplay

(Polyphony, with the Empty Blue)

No matter where she placed that jug filled 
with ashes, at night there it was, in the attic, 
floating, behind a stack of old board games 
and a curtain of dust. This she considered

a form of paranormal foreplay. I took out 
the trash and for once I didn’t count to ten, 
wreathed as I was in the melody of the flu
and a subtle whiff of cognitive decay. Later

I’m in the woods sidestepping a rabbit trap
when I forget just how to breathe. Weeks
pass. My mailman carts off all that he can
and places a call to Mr. Zip. The red phone

under the cake dome rings without answer.
Another jug shows up at her house in town.  
She sits it in the hall and mouths the word
“circuit” as she notices that there’s nothing

in the sky but the horribly empty blue she’ll
forever equate with Dresden. According to
my horoscope I will never play professional
baseball nor live in a town by a lake. When

the sun comes up I risk a quick look around.  
No lakes. I yank off my catcher’s mask, pick
up a jug and then stumble to where a creek
used to be. Nothing is quite as I remember.

The meaning of these communiqués eludes
her. She feels unmoored. She feels like sea 
drift, lost in the tide, like whatever is coming
will prove itself her answer, or nothing at all.

Jeffrey Little | (inside of snake time)
Contents | Mudlark No. 77 (2024)