Tuesday, September 20, 2016

If I were..., and Changing Leaves, Katy Comber

Nomads, Installment Two
James and Cola Flashback
By Katy Comber

“If I were more honest than loyal, I’d open my vaults, let the characters out, and shrink into nearly nothing,” Cola’s hands flutter downward and gesture to her body, “this is all composed of secrets, you know.”
“Your vaults?” James grins. Some of the things Cola says are just plain weird.

“‘Don't be ashamed of being human, be proud!
Inside you vault opens behind vault endlessly.
You will never be complete, that's how it's meant to be.’”*

Cola shrugs and shakes her head, “Tomas Tranströmer. I’ve always loved this idea. That people are composed of endless vaults.”
“I’m probably some old cigar box within a dusty shoebox some jerk left forgotten under his bed.” James breaks into a full belly laugh. Cola smiles.

The wind shifts, and the tree limbs above rattle. Leaves, vibrant with the colors of joy within grief, life right before death, nature’s allowance without fight or manipulation, drift down. One tiny leaf, bright red with hints of green, lands on James’ shoulder. Cola’s thoughts sway with the wind. She sees her life then. What it is now. A tiny red leaf, a blade of grass, one sea wave about rise, crash, and disappear; she considers the secrets she once promised to never tell and if they really matter anymore.

“Come on, Cola. The gang’s probably wondering where we are and if we’ve been harvested or something. Kid’s probably needing to be fed, and you-” James looks at her unabashedly, “you look about to burst.” Cola’s breasts ache at the reminder, but she pauses. Kid can wait another second or two.

“James, I think I should tell you…”
“Cola, hush, now. It’s okay. I love you for your loyalty.”        

James grabs Cola’s hand and leads her back to camp. Cola knows that in this moment, James thinks that he is being kind. Yet, this silencing stirs something in Cola, and a quiet bitterness begins to brew.

*"Romanesque Arches" by Tomas Tranströmer, from New Collected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2011 edition). Translated from the original Swedish by Robin Fulton. Citing from source:


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