Manuscript in Blue

by Julia Yong LaFrance


act  Iscene Ishards of morning cut the room. radiator’s ragged breathing drowns out my own. the kettle’s screaming in the kitchen. we’re in ritual beneath cotton sheets. a car honks, twice, outside. be still.act Iscene IIkitchen table meeting smells all mahogany and stale chardonnay. let me smooth the creases on your face with my thumb. they don’t come out. the coffee’s hot, though. the maintenance man is on his way. to fix the radiator. isn’t that nice. be still. act Iscene IIIthe cat died in its sleep. apartment steeps in silence. three hollow knocks. i swallow a rock. you follow suit. hi, let me show you to the radiator. i pour the coffee down the drain only to do something with my hands. be still.act IIscene IIthe cat is buried next to the peonies. you don’t hold me. be still.act IIscene IVthe radiator breaks again just in time for winter. we used to waltz. but didn’t it make you sing inside? dancing these days is the art of division. the equation comes out the same. be still. act IIIscene Iyou can be still, and still, the end enters.

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