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Aphrodite and the Old Witch
Aphrodite sits in her lace and brocade chair
she bought at a garage sale in Miami. Regards herself
in her gilt-framed dressing table mirror, fixes lipstick
rubs lips over each other. Tries on a new hat, smiles
at her reflection. The creases around her eyes wrinkle
back in admiration. She dabs them with a little
anti-aging eye cream. That’s better. Smiling still, she plans
her day. She’ll feed the cats something special and tasty,
buy presents for the grandchildren at the dime store, phone
an old friend to wish him happy birthday, donate a few
dollars to a favorite charity. Buy some daffodils from the
flower seller outside Starbucks. It’s going to be a lovely day.
The Old Witch looks out from her cracked glass window
its brass frame stained with rust and bird droppings. She pulls
a face at what she sees outside – noisy kids, vendors yelling
at each other, scrawny cats eating garbage and fornicating
under bushes. Her teeth are discolored, many of them missing,
under her breath she mutters an ancient Gypsy curse her grandmother
was fond of using – “will some freak storm or landslide come and
bury you all in hailstones and mud”. She cackles at her parrot
who curses back at her. It’s going to be another boring day.
Aphrodite and The Old Witch stare at each other, bring their eyes.
noses and lips up real close. Merge into each other. The mirror shatters.
© Johnmichael Simon
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