Heresy, by Tonya Eberhard
Speeding down the road, past
mausoleum and trailer park.
The house of candlestick and
mirror, reflections of fire and
flame. These illusions are real.
Four boys, one girl. The refri—
gerator is empty and the table
is set for two. Who?
There is a witch in the base—
ment, among her potions
and brew. Shelves of pottery
and broken glass, sewn together
as a mirror mask. Simple as a
spinning wheel, wooden Ferris
wheel around and around,
wheel of fortune. Luck reverses
at some point, for ill-omened
or good. These crafts and pots
sold for one loaf a week.
The boys are running a barefoot
marathon on broken glass. Because
their existences were not planned,
life was not prepared to offer much.
For no child asks to be born.
No supervision. No nanny, no governess
to tell them not to dip fingertips
in candlewax and press them to
the mirror. They molded wax
into hardened holy hosts, pressing
them to the roof of the mouth,
waiting to become divine.
Sisters are what the girl wanted.
Three fates, three Bronte’s, not
that clunky sounding ‘four
brothers’ phrase. Sisters would
come someday, through the form of
a resurrected doll, a Latin incantation.
The closest thing she
could get to a boyfriend, a
brother’s friend. A sister,
his oafish girlfriend.
Mausoleum, trailer park, home.
Past these two, to the house of
bone. Cauldron fire, tame flame
in the mirror, all of this, thin sliver—
of the moon. Table set for two?
Somewhere, a phone ringing.
Is it for me, for you?
Tonya Eberhard recently graduated from the University of Missouri. She currently lives in Minnesota. Her work has appeared in Algebra of Owls, The Commonline Journal, Dirty Chai, Yellow Chair Review, Open Minds Quarterly, and many others.