Here we split the winter's hold, I and Choke. Choke, left-minded thus right-handed standing, next hefting, axe's right-hand side as I, right-minded thus left-handed minded stand to and heft of left-handed fraction of axe's axis. On our swings back, on our backswings, our elbows often brushed, often touched, even once glanced crashed then crushed. These touchings and brushings were bothersome somethings but amidst the power and hold of winter's cold and plowing the touchings and brushings, even the glance crash and crushings were plum forgot for the sake of plum forgetting and fretting—all worthless, all worthless—none, Choke and I splitting that winter's hold, telling each other things of old we had yet to tell, had not yet told.
—Alabaster, Choke spoke, using my wrong name.
—Alabaster is not my, I replied, name. Alabaster is a thing, the jar-forging thing in which you snare the types of flies that fire. Once caught, you will watch from atop the jar, through a saran film, their mighty glow, straining and tympanic, then slower and slow, as the kitchen fades to blackenses.
—So long as saran's lens has handsome holes if only for the sake of the flies' lives, Choke spoke.
—Of course, Choke, so long as there's handsome holes in the top, spoke I, who's name was not Alabaster.
Here we split the winter's hold, I, not née Alabaster, and Choke. Knock-kneed from cold like cannonball hits, tramp we from cabin to woodpile from woodpile to cabin to woodpile to cabin to stay until, final pile a gone, ashes all dust, back we trudge through cannonball sludge, back to map and pattern and pile, again once back to eggs of sunflowers (whose role you will see soon I promise). Often Choke would read and, turning the pages, sob at action in between he always felt he missed. Not often, but not never as well, we would cradle each other and croon slowly the old lullabies, I in Choke's ear as I laid on my back and Choke in my ear as he lay on his stomach beside me:
Here we split the winter's hold!
Here we stopped the winter's cold!
Soon will start the springest heat!
Full of yummy things to eat!
Here we split the fiction told, I and Choke.
THE ROLE OF THE SUNFLOWER EGGS. Our lonely woodpile, built like a fort is built, was filed back deep in the woods, amid forgettable bare trees and other trees staying green all the year that made them no less forgettable. How easy to lose one self back in those woods I would think. So I, Choke behind me, walked pilewards, dropping sunflower eggs at every fourth step, leaving eggtracks like birdtracks in the snow to follow cabinwards home. On the unfortunate side, Choke loved sunflower eggs, picking them up and eating them as he came close behind me. On the fortunate side, Choke had terrible allergic reactions to sunflower egg salt, making him vomit up in terrible starts and stops. I got used to dropping sunflower eggs on the way to the woodpile and used to following piles of vomit and spittle back cabinwards. I'll admit, a bit sadistic. END OF THE ROLE OF THE SUNFLOWER EGGS.
Here we split the winter's hold, I and Choke.
And here we spilt our cinder's old, I, not née Alabaster, and Choke.
Here we hid our hinders cold, I and Choke.
all worthless, so worthless
Here we split the cinder's bold, I and Choke.
Once Choke spoke.
—Alabaster, Choke spoke, philosophy becomes you like I become a feather boa.
But, here, there is nothing in these and other things. And nothing in the, I suppose, things of those. Stories are nothing. Songs are nothing. So.
—Alabaster, Choke spoke.
Crash of axe in snow quiet as a distant capsize as axe left hand of once hefting left-handed man, I.
—I, I, I, cried I, I!
I choked Choke so thus Choke choked, then broke. And Choke, choked and broke, no longer spoke.
It was I and I was it. Here we split.
About the author:
Michael Jauchen lives in Lafayette, Louisiana. Some of his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Sentence, H_NGM_N, and The King's English.
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