a literary review
The Universe is worked and guided from within outwards.
~ Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
Cats arch their backs, flee their perches. Starlings
murmur the secret, abandon a shake of branches.
A throaty groan underfoot. Then, one sharp
minute of seismic spasm, of strike-slip fault.
Where soil sat on hillsides, now slippage.
Subsidence retires doors in rubble — nothing
to slam against debris, against churning frustration.
Nothing smooth, no thing where it was. The unhoused
rise from Golden Gate to a perplexity
of pebbles, to stonework spalled by fire.
A confusion of souls pinched for residence,
jockeying for space. Wraiths leak into crevices —
displaced spirits now schooled in hide and seek.
Bewildered dogs nose limbs for masters missing
or dead: Are you a fetch? Got a bone?
Then: gulls reclaim their begging ground.
Shaken settlers settle again. Those who believed
in concrete brush ash from their shoulders,
locate new angles for wake and sleep. They shuffle
old notions like whist, conjure new convictions
steeped in flesh, in wisp.
Mikki Aronoff’s work appears or is forthcoming in New World Writing, The Phare, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Tiny Molecules, The Disappointed Housewife, Bending Genres, Milk Candy Review, Gone Lawn, and elsewhere. She has received Pushcart and Best Microfiction nominations.