Afternoon Tea With God


God invites me to a weeping willow to apologize for the pandemic

over a cup of tea. I am inclined to accept this proposal,

because quite frankly, I have no prior engagements, and the world

is too pale to be fickle. At five o’clock, we sip tea

on a branch in the sky. I nibble on blueberry scones and watch

the crumbs falling below, as if I can’t fall with them.

When the wind blows, fine China rattles, and the antique silverware

of God shakes in my grip. My flesh proves to be nothing

but an overskirt for my bones. My bones, but an overskirt

for an age-old spirit. We take another sip and exhale

into another hour. Another day that we eat above the people

below. God rubs the glaze off of my cheeks,

but I am not aware that I am being fed. I do not question

who placed me on the branch of this weeping willow

when I am six stories high. Too high to smell the bodies, so I smell

chamomile instead. God’s fingers are an herbal hallucinogenic—

a smooth gloss brushed over the unholy. I cannot see the people

that lie on the grass. I cannot see the people that lie.

I take one sip closer to the day that my flesh will be blown far away

from my bones. Spirits rise off of the steam from our tea

                                                                                  and we absorb them.




where the flies hover II


                  ~ (an elaboration of the diagnosis)


I am a lover of all things defiant in nature, including my father’s

need to disobey. It is the summer of the pandemic

and a dull summer for us all. I have not contacted the friends

I have left in Georgia, because I have made the conscious decision

not to. The news tells us the pandemic is a hoax. The news tells us

there are 63,000 cases in Georgia. Cameras pan over the beach

like little flying robots that attach to disaster. In this case, disaster

is a chili lime margarita and drunk people swimming

in their own sickness. The news tells us to stay in our houses.

My father, upon seeing the news, decides that we must throw

ourselves into this public showing of defiance that reporters call

disaster. He rents a beach house with beach chairs and umbrellas

that will not protect us from the pandemic. He makes his family

an umbrella and spreads us in the sun. Four Arabs walk on a beach,

and little cameras attach to us. I am photographed in a pink bikini

on my last living day. My father tells me to cover up for live television,

but I am immune to the bugs that live on the beach, and after all,

I am defiant in nature. Like other girls, I set up a camera of my own

to document my body, pink and exposed, in a global crisis.



One Response

  1. Great work Athena! Love reading it. Keep it , up in these curious times, with your truly “soul sight full” descriptions.
    I have a feeling you will not be at a lost for material.

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