48.2

Page 103

AUMAIN ROSE GRUICH

The Question of

My vices are avocados and noticing you notice me. Friends collapse into chairs and I could kiss them for the way they expose our collective uncertainty. It’s visual tyranny, we decide, as if any item in millennial pink could calm me before dreams where my voice is replaced by programmed babble that spools from my mouth like tape measure. Mother’s mother called her habits taste and father’s simply kept her mouth a thin line, ordered herself like her set of varnished coasters in their case. But my name suggests honesty, means this is true, so in my two-tone outfit I wonder what’s to gain from image, that hard external shell of the world, reducible, I think, but to what? There might be some value in the perception of it, the days I walked next to you in the street, caught your eye like the sparkles emoji was in the air, but then we lived in the cracked hubcap of beauty, which you broke to show me how. O to always be so close to free.

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