Daughter Bird Bone Song, 8 and 9 |
by Michele Harman

A plastic nativity scene lights up in three concentric circles, electric cords stretched in every direction. On the card's front, a foot-high, laminated clown, meant to cheer me up. I go to the rec center to practice craps, then photocopy the good rolls. Who murdered the 24-year-old grandmother? And why in a closet? At this amusement park, I become caught in Adventure River, my legs wrapped entirely with rope before I fall into the rushing water; though it's all preplanned, one wrong move leads to disaster: notice the vacuum cleaners tilting toward us on a high glass ledge. When the Butter Eatery truck passes, everyone claps. They go flying in a round ball that hovers just over rooftops. Yes! The woman in the purple dress did it! Though it pours rain into my glass, I wait at the outdoor bar by the side of the road. He puts one of his sons into a dolls' house living room, and the other into a bird cage to keep him occupied with my same-sized finch which plays dead at first, feet up, then recovers.
In a maze, expressionless people pair up in matching costumes, then leave. He becomes a plant. Everyone knows exactly what to do except me. I spend the next hour/minute searching for him. Their train, de-railing. An alien creature flies around looking to possess or kill me. The breathing space is insubstantial. We lower it into a vat of honey and tear it apart limb by limb. They skate on minuscule patches of ice. Over there! The miniaturized people. I hide. I put on the wedding dress in order to cross town. And, a piece of clothing with memory and feathers.

The Writer: With undergraduate and graduate degrees in English literature and creative writing, poetry, from UCLA and UF, Gainesville, Michele Pizarro Harman has published poems in such literary journals and online venues as Quarterly West, The Antioch Review, Mississippi Mud, Midwest Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Sycamore Review, Berry Blue Haiku, Shepherd’s Check, a handful of stones, The Commonline Journal, and Miriam’s Well. She currently lives with her husband and two of their four children in the small town in Central California where she and her husband grew up; beyond the cows, crows and cranes, she teaches reading, writing, and math to K-6 special-needs students in a public elementary school. She also may be found at: www.michelepizarroharman.com.

The Photographer: Brett Stout is a 33-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and Paramedic. He creates art while mainly hung-over from a small cramped apartment in Myrtle Beach, SC..