The Shape of Love

Mother was beautiful until she was not. It was the 70s. I don’t think it was the brown, polka-dot polyester dress. It was, instead, my exit from Eden. Waking into reality. I saw mother’s strong jaw, her determined cheekbones. But there was a violent halo of sun around her face. Pockmarked skin. Smell of coffee breath. Heard scream-cries of new brother.

I hid that day. In a large brown box that came from babushka. I hid and the parishioners looked and the police in that small red-dirt town were called. Search. Searching. I’m asleep. In the box. The smell of packing tape and grandma’s house.

Love is distant and comes in the form of a cube. You have to unwrap it. Sometimes you have to use a knife or sharp scissors to cut through the tape and string. Be careful. The blade will surely slip.

Rosemary Royston holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University and is a lecturer at Young Harris College. Rosemary’s poetry has been published in journals such as Southern Poetry Review, The Comstock Review, Main Street Rag, Coal Hill Review, STILL, FutureCycle, and Alehouse. Her chapbook Splitting the Soil is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She lives and works in Northeastern Georgia. theluxuryoftrees.wordpress.com